Date issued: November 2007
NCT Document Summary:
Women’s experiences of maternity care in England: key findings
from a survey of NHS trusts carried out in 2007
This Healthcare Commission report is based on a postal survey of over 26,000 women who gave birth in
England during February 2007. The survey was carried out with the aim of describing women’s
experiences of the maternity service in relation to current maternity policy and evidence of good practice,
to enable improvements to be made to the quality of local maternity services provided by the NHS.1
The questionnaire used in the survey was based on that used in the National Maternity Survey 2006,2
developed and carried out by the National Perinatal and Epidemiology Unit (NPEU), and will enable the
individual performance of each participating NHS trust to be assessed.
The report addresses care throughout pregnancy (including initial access to care, number of visits, who
provided care, continuity of carer, information and communication, choice in relation to screening tests
and place of birth and provision of antenatal classes), care during labour and during the postnatal period,
including provision of information and involvement in decision-making.
Altogether 151 NHS trusts took part in the survey, inviting 45,000 women to participate approximately
three months after they had given birth, excluding those who were aged 16 or under, had had a stillbirth
or whose baby had died. After taking account of undelivered questionnaires and those women ineligible
for inclusion, there was a response rate of 59%. The average age of survey respondents was 31 years
and 13% were from a black or minority ethnic group. Just over half (51%) of those who responded to the
survey had previously had a baby.
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