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Survey of women's experiences of care in a new freestanding midwifery unit in an inner city area of London, England - 1: Methods and women׳s overall ratings of care

Macfarlane, A. J., Rocca-Ihenacho, L., Turner, L. R. and Roth, C. (2014). Survey of women's experiences of care in a new freestanding midwifery unit in an inner city area of London, England - 1: Methods and women׳s overall ratings of care. Midwifery, 30(9), pp. 998-1008. doi: 10.1016/j.midw.2014.03.013

Abstract

Objective: To describe and compare women’s choices and experiences of maternity care before and after the opening of the Barkantine Birth Centre, a new freestanding midwifery unit in an inner city area.

Design: Telephone surveys undertaken in late pregnancy and about six weeks after birth in two separate time periods, Phase 1 before the birth centre opened and Phase 2 after it had opened.

Setting: Tower Hamlets, a deprived inner city borough in east London, England, 2007-2010.

Participants: 620 women who were resident in Tower Hamlets and who satisfied the Barts and the London NHS Trust’s eligibility criteria for using the birth centre. Of these, 259 women were recruited to Phase 1 and 361 to Phase 2.

Measurements and findings: Women who satisfied the criteria for birth centre care and who booked antenatally for care at the birth centre were significantly more likely to rate their care as good or very good overall than corresponding women who also satisfied these criteria but booked initially at the hospital. Women who started labour care in spontaneous labour at the birth centre were significantly more likely to be cared for by a midwife they had already met, have one to one care in labour and have the same midwife with them throughout their labour. They were also significantly more likely to report that the staff were kind and understanding, that they were treated with respect and dignity and that their privacy was respected.

Key conclusions and implications for practice: This survey in an inner city area showed that women who chose the freestanding midwifery unit care had positive experiences to report. Taken together with the findings of the Birthplace Programme, It adds further weight to the evidence in support of freestanding midwifery unit care for women without obstetric complications.

Publication Type: Article
Publisher Keywords: Midwifery care, free-standing midwifery unit, birth centre, service users’ views
Subjects: R Medicine > RG Gynecology and obstetrics
Departments: School of Health Sciences > Midwifery & Radiography
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/3592
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