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Covid-19: CHFT Response to Maternity Survey Findings – April 2021 Update

Your Feedback is being acted on

The years 2020 and 2021 have been tough for so many people and we all have our own experience of the Covid-19 pandemic. There have been times when we’ve all struggled – some more than others.

Covid-19 has brought about so many changes to the way in which maternity care has been delivered and in the middle of last year, the MVP partnered with local Maternity Service Providers, CCG’s, Public Health Teams and a couple of other MVPs to gather the views of those who had used maternity services during the start of the pandemic; March 2020 to August 2020. So many local people responded to the survey and we are grateful for all those who did.

Key findings from the survey can be found on page 6 of the Covid-19 Maternity Report:

Covid-19_Maternity_Report.pdf – Google Drive

As an MVP, we think it’s really important that we share with you how your feedback has been acted on as it’s important that you know just how much midwives here at Calderdale and Huddersfield Foundation Trust (CHFT) care for local women and families.

Please find below, a number of things that CHFT Maternity Services have recently done, and are doing in response to feedback that’s been gathered from the local Covid-19 Maternity survey:

 

1. Some women said they felt lost in the system and didn’t always know what to expect or who to contact.

  • When reviewing initial survey responses, CHFT contacted all women who hadn’t had contact from a midwife within the previous 4 weeks, and they are currently looking at ways in which to keep in more regular contact. Please note that the number of appointments haven’t been reduced during the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • CHFT have since set up a designated area on their website to share Covid-19 related information. Information was previously shared on their Better Births Facebook page but it was recognised that not everyone is on Social Media, and even if they were, information can soon become lost. Midwives are signposting women and families to the website as this is where the most upto date information is held. Maternity Services – CHFT (cht.nhs.uk)
  • CHFT have written letters to give to women at three touchpoints during their maternity journey. These letters contain lots of useful information, and can also be found on the CHFT website

 

2. The impact of restrictions placed on partners and other family members was a major area of concern and was commented on in relation to every element of care, in particular ultrasound appointments and postnatal care.

  • It is clear that nobody (including the Trust) want these restrictions in place, but the Trust are faced with trying to keep all women, babies, staff and limited visitors to the hospital safe – and they are doing what they believe is best to keep everyone safe. Maternity Services meet with the wider Trust every week, and it is here where they discuss visiting arrangements, and whether or not it’s safe to ease some of the restrictions that are in place. Over the last couple of months, changes have taken place, and restrictions have eased. For more information on the latest visiting arrangements, please visit the main CHFT maternity services webpage and navigate to the section titled ‘Update to maternity Visiting Arrangements’    https://www.cht.nhs.uk/…/clinical…/maternity-services/

 

3. A number of people fed back that phone appointments were impersonal and there were also reported instances of poor phone signals and too much background noise.

  • CHFT are looking to offer video appointments to those that want them.
  • Midwives have been asked to ensure that they’re in a good signal area if making phone calls from their mobiles.
  • Maternity Services are looking to move office phone lines to areas which are quieter.

 

4. Some women were unsure where to access antenatal information and for those who did their own internet searches – some were unsure as to whether information they were accessing was correct. Many would welcome the opportunity to have a class (albeit virtual) led by a local midwife.

  • CHFT are currently looking to develop some virtual antenatal classes are also looking to produce some informative videos for people to access.
  • Please take a look at information that already exists on the Maternity Services website: What’s on Maternity – Home (cht.nhs.uk)

 

5. Concerns for mental health and emotional-wellbeing for both women and partners was flagged in the survey responses.

  • CHFT continue to review the mental well-being of women, and midwives will continue to promote the Covid-19 worry line (0771 751 7563). They will also promote other local support, some of which can be found on the following web page; What’s on Maternity – Home (cht.nhs.uk)

 

6. Whilst analysing the covid maternity responses, it was clear that some groups were under-represented.

  • CHFT Maternity Services and the MVP (Maternity Voices Partnership) are part of a working group which are looking at existing health inequalities here within Calderdale and Huddersfield. We recognise the massive importance of engaging with all groups and communities who access local maternity services. Over this coming year, the MVP will look to build relationships with a diverse range of communities as it’s important that all women and families are given an opportunity to share their experiences and help shape our local maternity services. If you want to get involved with the Maternity Voices Partnership and/or have links with groups whose voices are seldom heard, please to get in touch with us. We would love to hear from you!  Please email us on mvpcalderdalehuddersfield@gmail.com

 

It’s easy to focus on those things that could be improved – which is what everyone wants, but as we do this, we shouldn’t forget all the positive things that women and families shared in their survey responses. The word art below pulls out words that were used to describe local midwives and maternity services, and it’s only right that these are shared

Maternity Services are a huge part of the MVP and we are grateful for their openness and honesty.  We are in regular conversation, and as further developments/changes happen to services, these will be shared here on our website and our Facebook page.