The results of a patient survey indicate "significant improvements" to care at Lister Hospital's maternity unit in Stevenage, following a damning report from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) last year.

The CQC published its 2023 Maternity Survey results for 121 NHS trusts on Friday, revealing that the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, which run's the Lister Diamond Jubilee Maternity Unit in Stevenage, performed on a par with most other trusts that took part in the survey.

When compared to the 2022 survey results, there is a significant improvement in how maternity service users rated their experience at this NHS trust.

It comes after the Diamond Jubilee Maternity Unit saw its rating drop from good to inadequate in January 2023, following a CQC inspection. By November, the rating had improved to requires improvement.

"The results of the survey showcase significant improvements in various aspects of maternal care at our maternity unit," said a spokesperson for the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust.

"Among the notable improvements, our dedication to fostering a supportive environment for partners and companions was commended, with the percentage of service users who felt their partners or companions were involved in their care increasing by 18% to 92%.

"The results also showed 97% of women have confidence and trust in the staff who looked after them during labour and birth - 2% higher than the national average.

"The survey also revealed a substantial increase in the percentage of service users who reported being asked about their mental health by our midwives during the antenatal period. This figure improved by 6% in 2022 to 94% in 2023, highlighting the important work of our perinatal mental health team."

The percentage of service users reporting that they had received appropriate advice and support at the onset of labour has increased from 70% in 2022 to 88% in 2023.

The percentage of individuals feeling supported in seeking help when needed increased by 6%, while those feeling involved in care decisions rose by 7% - reaching 95% and 92%, respectively.

Almost all (99%) of the service users who completed the survey said they felt they had enough time to ask questions during antenatal check-ups - a 5% increase from 2022.

Meanwhile, 92% of service users reported receiving help and advice on infant feeding during the critical first six weeks after birth - a 7% increase from 2022.

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Amanda Rowley, director of midwifery at the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, said: "These encouraging survey results not only reflect our unwavering commitment to delivering high-quality maternity care, but also serve as a testament to the dedication and hard work of the healthcare professionals within our Diamond Jubilee Maternity Unit.

"With a focus on continuous improvement and first class care for our service users, we remain focused in our commitment to continued improvement and further increasing our overall CQC rating – providing exceptional maternity care to our women and service users."