Research by a public spending watchdog has found not all maternity services are treating mothers with dignity and understanding.

According to the Wales Audit Office report, the general standard of antenatal care met good practice guidelines, but some mothers did not receive the necessary number of check ups and attendance at antenatal classes is low.

A survey of services in Wales found new mothers thought the standards were of an appropriate standard and were more satisfied with their experience than those in England. However, the findings suggest that a “significant minority of women felt they were not always treated with dignity and respect or kindness and understanding”.

A report by the auditor general says there is an “unacceptable variation in practice” and that a review of training programmes is necessary to ensure all staff adhered to the principles of respect, wellbeing, choice and dignity.

It says issues over costs, such as not getting a definite budget, meant it was difficult for trusts to work out what good quality maternity services cost.

Jeremy Colman said: “I hope the assembly government and NHS will take on the recommendations outlined in my report and will implement changes where necessary, to improve the situation.”