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Croydon's maternity services among worst in country says CQC survey but progress being made

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MATERNITY services in Croydon are among the worst in the country according to a survey by the health watchdog. Croydon Health Services NHS Trust scored below average when women were asked to rate the care they had received. It was named as one of the seven worst-performing trusts in the country by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). The survey, of women who gave birth in February, was sent out before a major refurbishment of Croydon University Hospital's maternity unit, improvements praised by the CQC during an inspection of the trust as a whole in September. Zoe Packman, director of nursing and midwifery, said: "This latest survey was done in February and it is disappointing that standards back then were not at the improved level they are now." The maternity services survey, published this week, saw a questionnaire sent to all women who gave birth in February 2013. Responses were received from 96 people who gave birth in Croydon. Mums were asked questions about various aspects of care and, based on their answers, trusts were then given a score out of ten. Croydon was worse than average in all three overall categories: Labour and birth (8/10), staff (8) and care in hospital after birth (7). It scored significantly worse than average in seven of the questions, including when women were asked whether they felt comfortable when giving birth. It lowest score was 6.1 out of ten for mums "feeling their stay in hospital after the birth was the right amount of time". The trust scored 6.7 out of ten for "cleanliness of toilets". However, it did score significantly better than average when mums were asked if their partners felt involved in the birth. Since the survey, the maternity unit at Croydon University Hospital has undergone a £629,000 makeover. The trust has also hired more midwives including Gina Brockwell, its first consultant midwife. The trust as a whole was inspected by the CQC in September. It was chosen as one of the first hospital to undergo the strict new inspection regime after being identified as "high risk" due, in part, to poor performance in patient surveys. The report, published last month, described maternity services as "caring, safe and well-led". "Most women and family members were happy with the maternity services and we saw evidence that they were both safe and caring," it added. Ms Packman said: "Mums and staff gave a hugely encouraging assessment of our progress in maternity care during a hospital inspection in September. "Choice on antenatal check-ups and the involvement of partners in labour and birth are areas where the patient survey shows we are performing well. "It also highlights where more can be done and we will continue to involve patients and staff to ensure professional and excellent care for every mother." A separate survey, published in September, rated Croydon's cancer care as the third worst in the country.

Croydon's maternity services among worst in country says CQC survey but progress being made


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