In early 2023, SMNVP staff and volunteers visited the hospitals and used NHS England’s 15 Steps checklist to reflect on whether the maternity and neonatal settings and staff were:
- Welcoming and informative
- Safe and clear
- Friendly and personal
- Organised and calm
- Accessible and inclusive.
SMNVP shared videos about their findings on social media and invited further input from people who couldn’t attend the visits.
The new report highlights what SMNVP liked, along with recommendations for change and improvement for each area of maternity and neonatal services including reception, pregnancy and day care assessment units, scanning clinics, antenatal and postnatal areas, labour wards, special care units and bereavement spaces.
SMNVP has shared the report with maternity and neonatal leadership teams at the hospitals as well as with other partners working in maternity and neonatal care. They will monitor progress made by NHS Somerset Foundation Trust by attending regular safety walkabouts, meeting with the leadership teams for updates on the recommendations made in the report and repeating the 15 Steps visits again in 2024.
Announcing the report, Laura Perry SMNVP Lead, said: “I’m proud to be working with our community to develop our local maternity and neonatal services. We know that the right care and support during pregnancy is vital and we want our hospital spaces and facilities to match the wonderful, personalised care that is so often provided by staff. Our 15 Steps report will help services get that right for families.”
Commenting on the report, Alison Dennett, Head of Midwifery at Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We have welcomed the team visiting our maternity units in Somerset and value the 15 Steps feedback. Continuing to work together with the Somerset MNVP team, enables us to reach out to our women, birthing people and families in a way that we would not accomplish alone. We will be working to achieve the recommendations from the feedback highlighted in this report and look forward to sharing our progress with the team.”
Read the full report for detailed findings and recommendations: 15 Steps for maternity and neonatal in Somerset