New mums across East Yorkshire are set to have their say on the care they receive as the NHS Friends and Family Test is rolled out to include maternity services.
From antenatal check-ups to advice on breastfeeding and their experience in the delivery room, women will be able to rate all aspects of their care and say whether they’d recommend local maternity services to friends and loved ones.
Sheryl Sykes, Matron for Maternity Services based within Hull and East Yorkshire Women & Children’s Hospital says:
“Expecting a baby is one of the most magical times in woman’s life, and whether it’s her first or her fifth, she still needs a lot of support from our maternity services to prepare for the event and to monitor the on-going health of both mum and baby.
“Every year, we support some 6,000 women living across Hull and the East Riding throughout their pregnancies, and this number continues to steadily increase. Because we’re caring for so many women, often over a period of seven or eight months each, it’s important for us to know what we’re doing well, where expectant mums could do with a bit more help, and where they feel we could improve the service we provide.
“The support we give before, during and after the birth is quite different at each stage, so our ladies will be asked to complete a Friends and Family Test at key points throughout their pregnancy, and this will help us to evaluate and improve our services across the board.”
Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust is one of 171 Trusts up and down the country regularly using the NHS Friends and Family Test to review its services and look for ways of improving based on patient feedback.
The survey has been in place across all of the Trust’s wards at Hull Royal Infirmary (HRI) and Castle Hill Hospital since March, plus urgent care services such as the Emergency Department and Acute Assessment Unit. It asks patients to rate the quality of care they have received and hinges on one key question, “How likely are you to recommend this ward/department to friends and family if they needed similar care or treatment?”
Since the very early days, the Trust has averaged a score of 4.7 out of 5 across all of these areas, and now boasts some of the highest satisfaction scores and response rates in the country.
More recently, the Trust has extended the test to include a number of outpatient clinics where patients tend to spend less time but where their feedback is equally as important, such as the breast care service at Castle Hill and the HRI fracture clinic.
The addition of maternity services from October is just another way in which patients are influencing the way the Trust’s services operate, offering fellow patients reassurance around the quality of care provided at local hospitals, and regularly providing doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers with a well-deserved pat on the back.
Rachael Pearce, Friends and Family Test Project Manager for the Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust says:
“The Friends and Family Test is a great way for us to tell, at a glance, how people are viewing and experiencing our services. Our patients have rated us consistently highly since the test was first introduced to the Trust in March 2013, with scores indicating more than 90% of patients would be likely to recommend us to their nearest and dearest.
“The more feedback we get, the more we understand about our patients’ experiences and the level of trust and confidence they have in our staff. Even during a pregnancy with no complications, expectant mums will come into contact with a wide range of staff and services, so it’s essential that we capture their thoughts on how we can improve and what already works well in order to help more new mums in the future.”
The next stage of the Friends and Family Test roll-out across East Yorkshire will come when patients are asked to feed back on the care received specifically from their consultants; this is expected to be in place by the end of 2013.