THE MATERNITY services at The Royal Oldham Hospital are keen to gain feedback from the families in their care.
The women and children’s division at The Royal Oldham Hospital agreed to sign up to a pilot for six months with Care Opinion to enable women and their families to share their stories about the care that they have received anonymously. This encourages honest feedback and the maternity team have the opportunity to listen to what is being said about the care that they provide and respond directly to the author of the story.
Care Opinion is a non-profit organisation which enables service users to leave feedback on the website for others to view. The stories are sense checked by the organisation to make sure that they are not offensive and are then posted on their website so that health and care organisations can hear what was good about a service or what needs to be improved.
Samantha Whelan has been appointed as the patient experience midwife to take the lead for the pilot and look at quality improvement initiatives to support changes in the maternity services. Samantha collects and responds to feedback via the website and analyses data against the national Friends and Family test to look for any recurring themes and trends. This allows the maternity services staff to use quality improvement methodology to improve the service.
She said: “Our midwives encourage the women to tell their stories via Care Opinion throughout the childbearing continuum. We have freepost self-sealing Care Opinion leaflets in each of our maternity areas so that the ladies and their families can share their stories. Myself, Deborah Carter, the divisional director for women and children’s and Helen Howard, divisional director of midwifery at The Royal Oldham Hospital are then able to respond to the narratives.
“The majority of the feedback that we have received has been very positive and the women and their families have used Care Opinion as a way of thanking midwives and maternity staff for the care that they have received.”
Following feedback from the women, a new information card for women who use The Royal Oldham’s postnatal ward has been devised. The initiative was developed following feedback from pregnant ladies and new mums who have commented on their experiences at The Royal Oldham Hospital via the Care Opinion website. They said that they needed more information for themselves and their partners who were staying over on the postnatal ward, about the services offered.
Samantha Whelan worked with maternity ward manager Gemma Griffiths, inpatient matron for maternity services Belinda Jackson and midwives on the postnatal ward to gather relevant information to be displayed in a comprehensive ward information sheet, which is now at every new mum’s bedside. Laminated cards are also now left on the ladies’ pillows to inform them if their room has been cleaned whilst they have been away from their bedside.
Helen Howard, director of midwifery, said: “Feedback from our women and families is really important as this can help us to shape the service as we continue to make the required improvements. Care Opinion enables people to provide feedback anonymously and this is a great benefit of the system. Having Samantha to support the project has been a key to ensuring its success.”
Sam Whelan, patient experience midwife is pictured with Sarah Platt, postnatal ward midwife at The Royal Oldham Hospital.