Volunteers from Healthwatch Northamptonshire and Northamptonshire Maternity Voices Partnership came together to carry out a 15 Steps Challenge Maternity Visit across both hospital trusts in Northamptonshire – Northampton General Hospital and Kettering General Hospital.
On the day of the visit, the volunteers attended maternity areas in both Kettering General Hospital and Northampton General Hospital.
In line with the 15 Steps criteria, volunteers looked at four key areas: Welcoming, Safe, Caring and involving, and Well organised and calm. On the day of the visit, volunteers were split into smaller groups to observe the different areas. Consistent with Healthwatch Northamptonshire practice, the reports, for both Northampton General Hospital and Kettering General Hospital, were written by the volunteers in their own words based on their own observations and those of the people they spoke to.
Both hospitals are making changes regarding the feedback received. Northampton General Hospital have taken on suggestions regarding the tidying of the notice board, the wards décor and the suggestion of easily identifiable uniforms. Kettering General Hospital have completed some of the recommendations by revising the staff uniform poster, suggesting “Hello my name is…” badges for all clinical staff to the Trust and are looking into getting more LGBT and ethnically diverse posters.
Chair of Northamptonshire’s Maternity Voices Partnership, Marie Teale, said “It’s very encouraging to see both Northamptonshire trusts embracing the feedback from our MVP service user and Healthwatch volunteers on maternity services and putting plans in place to make changes based on that feedback.”
Mara Tonks, Head of Midwifery at Kettering General hospital, said “I really welcome the feedback provided by Healthwatch and Maternity Voices Partnership; this report is extremely positive. It is extremely important to us that we learn and develop in collaboration with our service users and we will endeavour to take all recommendations on board and look forward to working more closely together in the future.”
The reports can be read at Healthwatch Northampton.