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Gateshead Health’s maternity department is one of the best in England, say pregnant people and new parents

Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust is one of the top providers of maternity care in England, according to a survey of new parents.  

The report ranks maternity care at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital as fifth best out of 61 across the country. This prestigious recognition, based on the annual Care Quality Commission (CQC) survey, reflects the dedication and compassion of the Trust’s maternity team in providing exceptional care to pregnant people and their families. The CQC survey gathers feedback from thousands of new parents across England, assessing their experiences of care during pregnancy, childbirth and the first few weeks with their newborn.

A group photo of maternity staff, one of whom is holding a baby.

Gateshead Health achieved outstanding scores in key areas, including: 

  • Antenatal support: new parents praised the comprehensive information and guidance provided throughout their pregnancy journey. 
  • Labour and birth: respondents commended the supportive and respectful environment created by the team during a crucial and emotional time. 
  • Postnatal care: Gateshead Health received high marks for its commitment to wellbeing, offering excellent support to mothers and their newborns in the early days and weeks. 

We are absolutely thrilled to be ranked fifth best maternity service in the country. This incredible achievement is a testament to the tireless efforts of our dedicated midwives, doctors, and support staff, who are all committed to providing compassionate and tailored care to every mother and family we serve.  

“What resonates with me is the excellent feedback on communication, empathy, and empowerment. Almost 100% of people had positive feedback on how our staff communicate with them, listen to and empower people throughout their pregnancy and birth journey and that they had trust and confidence in our staff. That’s the essence of exceptional maternity care, to make sure that people feel supported and empowered every step of the way. It’s incredible to know from our patients that they think we’re achieving that.” 

Gill Findley, Deputy Chief Executive, Chief Nurse and Professional Lead for Midwifery and Allied Health Professionals

In almost all areas, Gateshead Health has improved on the results from the previous year. People surveyed were especially impressed by the way the maternity staff communicated with, listened to and empowered them throughout their pregnancy and birth, with almost all saying that they had complete trust and confidence in the people who supported them.  

The feedback from new parents is incredibly valuable, we listen to people who use our services, to learn from their experience on how we can improve and enhance our care. These results confirm that we are on the right track in delivering high-quality, person-centred maternity services.  

“We know that there are always areas to improve, especially around the physical environment and space for partners to stay with new mums. We have made improvements in this area, increasing satisfaction from 11% in 2022 to 40% in 2023, as we now have personalised care planning with families to offer overnight partner support where appropriate and available.” 

“Thank you to the women and families who have entrusted us with their care and shared their feedback. We continue to remain committed to providing excellent maternity care for generations to come.” 

Karen Parker, Head of Midwifery

This is fantastic recognition for the Gateshead team from the very people they have cared for. The team has undoubtedly worked hard to listen, communicate, and build trust with the women they supported in their pregnancy and birth. They should be proud of the improvements they have made and the care they provide to women and their families at a most precious time.

“We will be looking at and sharing the feedback from these surveys across the region so that we can learn together and improve women’s experiences further. “

Samantha Allen, Chief Executive, North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board
Hear more about what the results mean to some of our maternity staff

Gateshead’s maternity unit has a double reason to celebrate, having marked its 80th anniversary last month. 

To mark the 80th anniversary of the maternity unit, Gateshead Health released a short video titled “A Legacy of Care – Celebrating 80 Years of Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust’s Maternity Unit.” The video features Brenda, Rachel, and Charlie, three generations of one family born at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) conducted a maternity survey inviting people aged 16 or above who had a baby in January and February 2023. It covers all aspects of maternity provision care with over 100 people responding for Gateshead Health.  

For more on the Trust’s maternity services, visit the maternity services with the full report available at www.cqc.org.uk/maternitysurvey