Mums give thumbs up for maternity care

1 February 2018

Mums who have their babies at Ipswich and Colchester hospitals feel staff fully involve them and their partners in decisions about their care and treat them with dignity and respect, a national survey has shown.

The results of the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) 2017 maternity services survey, published on Tuesday (30 January), showed that women at the hospitals were having a positive experience of maternity care. Both Ipswich and Colchester also recorded significant improvements in several key areas since the previous survey in 2015.

Ipswich scored better than other trusts across the country against three criteria – advice at the start of labour, partners being involved as much as they wanted and giving mums the information and explanations they needed after the birth.

Colchester scored better than other trusts for mums being able to move around and choose the most comfortable position during labour, and for partners being involved as much as they wanted, for which the hospital recorded a maximum score of 10 out of 10.

Neither hospital recorded any scores which were “worse” than other trusts.

Alison Littler, head of midwifery at Ipswich Hospital, said: “We are very pleased with the results of this survey, which show we are performing well in a number of key areas, including communicating clearly with the women in our care and treating them with dignity and respect.

“We are delighted that the changes we introduced after working with Healthwatch Suffolk following the 2015 survey are having such a positive impact. One great example of this has been welcoming partners to stay overnight following their baby’s birth, which not only helps reduce any anxiety for mums but also gives partners the chance to bond with their newborn.

“We will now look at areas where further action could be taken, such as increasing the opportunities for women to move position during labour, so that we can continue to improve on these positive results in the next CQC survey.”

Jenny Collins, head of midwifery at Colchester Hospital, said: “We want every woman who chooses to give birth at Colchester to have the best possible experience. As such, we are delighted that these results show some significant improvements since 2015.

“We’re especially pleased that we were given top marks for involving partners as much as they would like, as well as high scores for treating women with dignity and respect and making sure mums and their babies have skin to skin contact shortly after birth.

“We are now looking at the survey results in more detail to see what action we can take to improve still further for the benefit of everyone using our maternity services.”

The survey was sent to every woman who gave birth at the hospitals last February, with 126 replies received for Ipswich and 96 for Colchester.

To look at the full results, visit and click on the link for individual trust results on the right hand side.