Maternity services on the Island have won plaudits from the independent Healthcare Commission.
A full review of all maternity units was carried out by the Commission in 2007 to check whether or not they provide a high quality, value for money service.
The answer that came back for the Isle of Wight maternity services was an emphatic yes, and the Healthcare Commission today rewarded the Island’s services with an overall “excellent” rating.
Its report shows that local maternity services scored above average in all three aspects investigated by the Commission: ensuring safe and effective maternity services, providing good information and support, and funding and managing services adequately.
The Commission reached its verdict after looking in detail at 25 indicators. The Island scored above average for 13 indicators, average for a further seven, and below average for just 5.
Gill Kennett, Associate Director of Child and Family Healthcare for the Primary Care Trust, described the results as “very positive”.
“We have been working hard to ensure our maternity services provide woman-centred care and I am particularly pleased that this area scored very well,” she added.
“We were delighted with the praise our maternity services received in last year’s national patient survey, and these results confirm that we are on the right track.”
Renewed efforts will be made to improve areas where the Island was below average. The Healthcare Commission says that the PCT should:
• mak e delivery rooms at St Mary’s Hospital more homely;
• expand maternal mental health services;
• ensure all midwives and obstetricians comply with annual refresher training requirements;
• improve its recording of obstetricians’ involvement of obstetricians in antenatal care; and
• reduce the average cost of delivering a baby on the Island.
“We are always looking for ways to improve, and of course we are fund raising to bring our NICU next door to our maternity unit so as to make the very best possible environment for those difficult births that sometimes happen” said Ms Kennett. “Right now, though, I just want to thank all the staff at St Mary’s and in the community whose hard work won our maternity services such an excellent result.”