PERFORMANCE: Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust chief executive Michael Wilson has paid tribute to maternity staff by highlighting anecdotal evidence of an improvement in standards.

In his weekly message to staff, he said: “A lot of hard work has been done in our maternity unit in recent months and it is nice when this is recognised by the people who matter the most – our patients.

“I would just like to share a comment left on an online baby discussion forum in the last few days: ‘this time was totally different. They were totally full to the rafters, but I still got excellent care and attention. The birth was awesome, the surroundings clean and hygienic. The midwives, hca’s, doctors - everyone was very polite and helpful and I really felt at ease. I think they have turned themselves around from a few years ago.”

Mr Wilson also discussed the recent relaunching of the trust’s birthing unit with a dedicated team leader, Jennie Hattan. Ms Hattan joined from Ealing Hospital, where she was the lead midwife for the promotion of normal birth.

He said: “In the first couple of weeks since relaunching the unit, we have seen its use increase by 50 per cent. The emphasis of the unit is on women and family centred care and in helping women feel more private and confident to improve the likelihood of them having a normal birth.”