In April 2017, we published the results of our project Dads and Maternity: Partner Experience. It looked at how partners feel about the role they play when mum is having a baby. We found out what they liked and what could be done to make things better.
We brought together 18 partners in two groups and talked through their experiences before, during, and after birth. Based on our findings we made a number of recommendations to Buckinghamshire NHS Healthcare Trust. The full recommendations can be found in our Dads and Maternity: Partner Experience report. The full response from Bucks Healthcare Trust is also available.
What’s changed so far as a result of our report?
Our recommendations were really well received by Heidi Beddall, Head of Midwifery and Lead for Outpatient Gynaecology at the Trust. She produced an action plan so she could implement them. She said:
I have shared how useful this report was to us as a service and the positive changes we have made.
Over the past six months, Heidi and her team have worked incredibly hard to make improvements to the way partners are involved before, during and after birth. They have also done follow-up work with the Midwifery team.
Significantly the Trust has implemented a new policy as a result of our report. Now, when the birthing partner is separated from the mother they should have an update at least every 20 minutes.
We talked to one of the dads who had talked to us about his experience of maternity about this change and he said:
That would have made such a difference to me when my wife had our first baby. I’m really pleased that Healthwatch Bucks have listened to what I had to say and the hospital has made a real change.
This is the first time that a service provider has responded to one of our reports with a change in policy. It shows how important it is for service providers and Healthwatch Bucks to work together to make sure that everyone gets the best care possible.
You can read more about the changes the Midwifery team has made in the full report below.