Jeanne Freeman, Health Secretary in the Scottish Government has commented on the positive feedback on maternity services in Scotland.
Jeane Freeman said:
“Patient feedback like this is crucial, as it highlights what we are doing well and where we need to focus our plans for improvement. Our maternity and neonatal teams across the country provide an excellent level of care for women and their families.”
The Maternity Care Survey was completed by 2000 women who had given birth in 2018. 90% of the women were very positive about their ante natal care but the majority of them had no choice about where their check ups took place. Despite this most of them saw the same midwife and got the information and advice they needed.
Where a woman chooses to give birth to her baby is extremely important but some women are still not offered any options. Hospital births and the use of stirrups continues to be what happens to most of the mothers surveyed.
Mothers whose babies were being cared for in a neo natal clinic were also very positive about the care received. For some, however, they were unable to stay with their baby due to a lack of accommodation.
Scotland still has quite a low rate for breastfeeding and the mothers who were surveyed felt they were not given enough support and encouragement from midwives and other professionals when they were experiencing difficulties. Mothers also got little advice about the financial support available to them. This is concerning given that the sample contained very few responses from young women and those on lower incomes.
Jeane Freeman said:
“We are investing £12 million to further improve these services. This includes plans for all expectant mums to receive care from a primary midwife, alongside a small team, for their whole maternity journey, and support to help parents with babies in neonatal units to provide as much day-to-day care for their new-born as possible.
“Our £50 million commitment for perinatal mental health meanwhile will create support for an additional 11,000 women who experience mental health problems during and after their pregnancy.
“We are committed to providing all mums, babies and their families with the highest quality of care according to their needs, backed by this investment.”
The survey does show a very positive response to Scotland’s maternity services but only 2000 filled in the survey and there were over 51,000 births in 2018. If women want to have more say in maternity services they need to respond to the Maternity Care Survey. It is concerning that the same team usually does not provide the ante and post natal care for mothers . It is not acceptable that in 2019 some mothers were unable to remain with their babies in a neo natal unit due to a lack of accommodation.
After having your baby it might be the last thing you want to do but it is important that mothers complete The Maternity Care Survey so that even more have the positive experience that they should be having.
Reporter: Fiona Grahame