Healthwatch Darlington Maternity Report 2017

Healthwatch Darlington carried out a short survey to achieve a better understanding of what patients and their families thought about the maternity care they had received at Darlington Memorial Hospital in the last 12 months.
Pregnant woman


We spoke to expectant parents and postnatal parents, so we could understand their experiences using maternity services. 

“The care you receive is good but it was obvious there isn't enough staff to care for the ladies on the ward that was apparent as soon as I arrived at the hospital. As a first time mother I found the maternity nurses don't give as much attention to the mothers as they could i.e. time to spend with them, your just left to get on with it although you have no idea what you’re doing. I think more staff would definitely improve the service, but I appreciate they are all doing their best.”


Service users identified the following key themes:

 - Staff attitudes 

 - Care

Next Steps

We asked County Durham & Darlington NHS Foundation Trust  (CDDFT) to consider the following:

 - A review of discharge procedures to speed up the process, thus reducing the likelihood of stress for newborn and parents. 

 - Closer monitoring of nursing and midwifery staff by line managers and issues of negative attitude directly challenged and corrected.

 - Patient first should be real and not simply a strapline. There appears to be a culture where established routines take precedence over patient expressed needs.

 -  CDDFT need to be aware that any change to local maternity services whether that be rumoured or planned is bound to have an effect on staff morale.

- CDDFT must ensure women, babies and their families receive the midwifery care they need, regardless of the time of the day or the day of the week.


Maternity Report 2017

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Youthwatch Darlington interview NSPCC and Kooth for this year's Children's Mental Health Week 2021.