Care Quality Commission
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New mums invited to take part in maternity survey

Mums who had a baby earlier this year are to be invited to take part in a major survey of maternity services in England.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is inviting 60,000 new mums to give their views on a wide range of issues, including whether they were given the pain relief they wanted, if they were left alone at a time when it worried them and whether they were offered a choice of where to have their baby.

Questions will also probe women’s experiences on the cleanliness of wards and toilets, whether they were treated with respect and dignity, whether they had confidence in staff and if call bells were left unanswered.

The results will be published later this year and will show what NHS maternity care is like for women in England, identifying what is working well and what needs to improve. 

The survey was designed with the help of new mums who gave their views on the experiences that were important to them.  

CQC national clinical advisor Rona McCandlish said: ‘Learning about women’s experiences of maternity services plays a critical part in the way we regulate and support improvement.

‘The more women who take part in the survey the richer the information will be. What they tell us about their experiences will help us identify further where poor care is being provided and help improve services for future mums.

‘It is also important that women recognise the survey is anonymous and carried out independently.’

For more information, local helpline numbers can be found in the individual survey packs. The NHS surveys webpage can also be found here.

For media enquiries call the CQC press office on 0207 448 9401 during office hours or out of hours on 07917 232 143.

For general enquiries call 03000 616161.

Notes to editors

Women eligible to take part in the survey will be sent a questionnaire in the post, which they will be asked to complete and return.

  • All women who gave birth in February are eligible participants. In a few places the survey may include some women who gave birth in January or March. This will allow comparisons with the results of previous surveys.
  • Previous surveys of women’s experiences of maternity services took place in 2007 and 2010. More information can be found here Reports, surveys, reviews.
  • The survey covers antenatal, labour and birth and postnatal care.

About the Care Quality Commission

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and social care in England.

We make sure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, caring, well-led and responsive care, and we encourage care services to improve.

We monitor, inspect and regulate services to make sure they meet fundamental standards of quality and safety and we publish what we find to help people choose care. 


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