Families praise care at St Thomas’ maternity department

Thursday 22 February 2024

Photo of baby over mother's shoulder

The specialist maternity teams at St Thomas’ Hospital have received praise by new families.

Hundreds of new parents took part in the 2023 Maternity Survey by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to rate their experience of the maternity care they received during their pregnancy (antenatally), labour and after birth (postnatally).

Results from the 2023 survey showed improvements in the experiences of people using the service in a number of areas including a focus on increasing communication.

The teams scored highly in parents to make the choice of where to have their baby. At St Thomas’ Hospital there are three options – whether that’s in the midwifery-led Home from Home Birth Centre or in the Hospital Birth Centre - or at home.

A big focus of work was increasing awareness to pregnant patients that their birth partners can be with them during all stages of their journey, including staying with them on the antenatal and postnatal wards. In this survey this rated highly with 90% of respondents feeding back that they were aware of the support available.

There are also virtual translation services available 24/7 via digital tablet trolleys offering every world language, to help support the diverse communities across Lambeth and Southwark. The survey responses show how such improvements in communicating information has helped families in making decisions about their care.

Gina Brockwell, Chief Midwife at Guy’s and St Thomas’, said:

“I’m so proud to see all of the hard work that our dedicated maternity teams have put in to make sure that our families are receiving the best care and experience when using our services throughout their pregnancy journey and beyond. We want to make sure that every family we care for feels supported in welcoming their new addition into the world.

“While we recognise that we have made significant improvements and are pleased to see these acknowledged by our families, we know there are still areas we can improve on. We will be focused on enhancing our infant feeding support, and making sure this is available in all areas of our maternity services, as well as strengthening support on our postnatal ward. We have recently introduced a transitional care unit so all birth parents and their babies who need extra care before returning home are in the same dedicated area."

Every year the expert maternity teams deliver over 6,000 babies, as well as running specialist antenatal clinics for those with heart conditions, asthma, liver disease, diabetes, sickle cell disease and immune disorders. A specialist community midwifery team works with partners across Lambeth to provide dedicated and continuous support for families as part of the Lambeth Early Action Partnership (LEAP).

A full copy of the 2023 Maternity Survey results is available on the CQC website. Maternity services at St Thomas’ Hospital are rated as ‘good’ following a CQC inspection in September 2022.

Last updated: February 2024

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