During the summer of 2017, Healthwatch Northamptonshire worked with Nene NHS and NHS Corby Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG) to gather the views and experiences of parents that were currently using or had recently used maternity services in Northamptonshire. This work helped to inform and develop the Local Maternity System plan for Northamptonshire.
Healthwatch Northamptonshire spoke to 534 parents from across the county and most of them were satisfied with their overall experience of maternity care, especially those who gave birth in a midwife-led unit or at home. Being cared for by the same small team of healthcare professionals who were approachable (particularly midwives) and having consistent and clear information were particularly valued and helped parents make informed choices about their birth and care. Less positive feedback included the experiences of some mothers on labour wards, who were left unattended and in pain, and breastfeeding was an area where some parents would have liked better support and evidence-based information. Only one-third of parents had a choice about where they saw their midwife and less had a choice about where to see their consultant and two-thirds would have preferred to see their midwife or consultant at their GP surgery.
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