Maternity services at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital (RD&E) have come out top in a survey of new mums across England.
The hospital was rated highly in the 2020 New Mothers’ Experiences of Care Survey, a fresh study carried out in response to the Covid pandemic.
Some 107 mums who were cared for by RD&E midwives during February 2020 were asked for feedback on the trust’s maternity services found at Wonford Hospital, Honiton, Tiverton and Okehampton.
When the annual NHS Maternity Survey 2020 was cancelled due to the pandemic, the new study was developed in a bid gain feedback while making contact with mothers who would have been eligible to take part.
Some 12 NHS Trusts in England participated in the voluntary survey this year.
The overall results for the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital maternity service were ‘excellent’ with most categories being above or equal to the survey average.
The report uses ‘positive score’ as its primary unit of measurement. The RD&E came out top in participating Trusts for positive scores.
Jo Bassett, deputy head of midwifery and gynaecology at the RD&E, said: “We are delighted to hear the views of the women who use our services and this feedback reflects the hard work and dedication of our teams to provide safe, high quality care.
“At this challenging time, it is so important to receive feedback of this type.”
She added: “Although this survey was conducted prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting restrictions on our service, this survey creates an ideal opportunity for us to gain valuable feedback which we use to help us make improvements and ensure our service is receptive to the experiences of women and their families locally.”
The study found 100 per cent of women said they had enough time to ask questions during antenatal check-ups.
The Trust also scored better than the national average with regard to women feeling supported around mental health.
And 99 per cent of women said agreed their partner was involved during labour and birth.
There was a 14 per cent improvement from 2019 in women reporting their discharge from hospital was without delay.
The survey found there was a 26 per cent increase in the number of times partners were able to stay postnatally.