Why Leeds Teaching Hospitals is among the best places to give birth

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Staff at the city's maternity service have been praised for improving the experiences of thousands of women who give birth there.

Leeds Teaching Hospitals was one of nine NHS trusts around the country which were identified as being "better than expected" in a national survey by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The care watchdog surveyed 17,000 women at 129 NHS trusts for its annual report.

The Leeds trust said its results had improved in 18 areas after women who gave birth in February last year were asked a set of questions about their care.

Leeds was praised in areas including women being treated with respect and dignity, staff providing them with all the attention they needed during labour and being treated with kindness and understanding following their birth.

Head of Midwifery Sue Gibson said: “We’re delighted with the outcomes of the maternity survey, which are thanks to the hard work of our team and the colleagues we work closely with in our wider women’s service."

The trust, which has one of the biggest maternity services in the country, has been involved with a city-wide maternity strategy for Leeds.

Changes include the implementation of electronic maternity records, an increase in home births and improvements to the care of families whose babies die during pregnancy and birth.

Dr Jane Mischenko, Lead Commissioner for Children and Maternity at NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “This is brilliant news for maternity services in Leeds and we’re proud of these achievements.

"When developing and delivering services we put the women and their families at the heart of everything we do, and the positive results from the maternity survey has highlighted this."

Elsewhere, Wakefield-based Mid Yorkshire Hospitals was among five trusts deemed 'worse than expected' in the CQC report.

The CQC found that there were concerns about postnatal check-ups and the length of time women were staying in hospital after birth.

But the trust, which runs Pinderfields, Pontefract and Dewsbury hospitals, was "about the same" as other NHS trusts in other areas.

Yvonne Rowlan, Assistant Director of Nursing and Midwifery, said: “We have taken on board what new mums have said about length of stay and information about postnatal check-ups.

"We have already taken action to address these issues by implementing plans for discharge on the day of delivery. We also have a discharge lounge and dedicated discharge clerk to ensure discharges are prompt and efficient."

The better than expected trusts were:

City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust

East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust

Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust

Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust

The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

The 'worse than expected' trusts were:

Barts Health NHS Trust

Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust

Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust

North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust

University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust