PERFORMANCE: An internal review of maternity services at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has concluded that more needs to be done to ensure all patients have a positive experience.

The review was published as part of the trust’s board papers for its March 3 meeting, and released to HSJ under the Freedom of Information Act.

It was launched to judge the trust’s progress in improving maternity services in risk areas identified in an April 2009 assessment.

The papers show that the hospital had 35 complaints about maternity services from April 2010 to December, accounting for 0.7% of women delivering at the trust.

Although the number of complaints remained static over the past two years, their nature has shifted. In 2009, mothers who complained were overwhelmingly dissatisfied with the attitude or rudeness of midwives, while complaints are now more focussed on the trust’s labour ward and labour ward care.

The study also showed dissatisfaction with the post natal ward, which cannot meet women’s “expectations of privacy, dignity and quiet adequately”.

The report said 40 per cent of complaints came from “white/other and black/other backgrounds” – a significantly higher proportion than among maternity service users as a whole.  

The finding “suggest that there may be a problem with communication and management of expectations from this group… who will be familiar with very different models of (usually doctor-led) maternity care.”

The enquiry found improvements in the use of temporary staff and in midwifery leadership.