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Updated 25 April 2024

9 February 2024

Women giving birth at Dorset County Hospital (DCH) have praised the high standards of care they and their babies received.

DCH’s maternity team scored some of the best results in the region in the 2023 Care Quality Commission (CQC) survey of women’s experiences of maternity care in England.

DCH’s services were rated better or the same as maternity services across the country in all areas that were surveyed – with several areas among the top results for the region.

The survey asked women about their experiences of care across the whole pregnancy pathway - antenatal care, labour and birth, and postnatal care. 124 responses were received for Dorset County Hospital.

The results were rated ‘much better’ than most other maternity services in four areas:

  • Women being given enough support for their mental health during their pregnancy;
  • The midwife or midwifery team seen or spoken to being aware of the medical history of women and babies;
  • The midwife or health visitor asking about women’s mental health;
  • Women being told who they could contact if they needed advice about any changes they might experience to their mental health after the birth.

DCH was also rated ‘better’ in four more areas:

  • Women being offered a choice about where to have their baby;
  • Women receiving enough information from either a midwife or doctor to help them decide where to have their baby;
  • During labour and birth, women being able to get a member of staff to help them when they needed it;
  • Women having confidence and trust in the midwife or midwifery team they saw or spoke to after going home.

The survey results come after the DCH maternity service received a ‘requires improvement’ rating from CQC inspectors back in November 2023.

DCH’s Deputy Chief Nursing Officer Emma Hoyle said: “Our maternity team have been working hard on addressing the areas highlighted for improvement since the CQC inspection and have made excellent progress.

“Whilst there is still more work to do, it’s heartening to receive such positive feedback from women having their babies at DCH, which illustrates the high standards maintained by our maternity team. We are hugely proud of their commitment to providing the best possible care.”

Read the full survey results.