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Women's experiences of care whilst pregnant and during childbirth has worsened

View profile for Sarah Masters
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Midwife struck off for looking up confidential medical records

A 2022 survey by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has revealed only 69% of women and other pregnant people were given the help they needed when they contacted a midwifery team during their antenatal care. This is down from 74% in 2017.

Further, only 63% of women and other pregnant people were able to say they were ‘always’ able to get a member of staff to help them when they needed attention during labour and birth. This is down 2% from 65% in 2017.

The Maternity Survey 2022 looked at the experiences of women and other pregnant people who had a live birth in early 2022. Worryingly, only 57% said they were ‘always’ able to get help and care in hospital after they had given birth. Of those surveyed, 71% said they ‘definitely’ had confidence and trust in their midwifery team postnatally, but this also showed a downward trend from a rating of 73% in 2017. 

In September 2022, the CQC revealed that more than half of maternity units in England were failing to consistently meet safety standards. Urgent action was required at nine units after they were given the lowest possible rating of ‘inadequate’ and 66 maternity units required improvement to reduce the risk to mothers and babies.

The Maternity Survey will be used by the NHS Trusts to identify and make the changes they need to improve their services.

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