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Involving patients helps Yorkshire Dales hospital clinch top award

[Wednesday 02 August 2006]

A YORKSHIRE DALES hospital has been praised by MP's for harnessing patient power to improve the provision of care for mothers giving birth by Caesarean section.

Northallerton's Friarage Hospital was named winner for involving women in improving its maternity services in awards judged by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Maternity.

We're very proud to have won the award and also that since doing the work, we have received no further complaints about care

Sarah Whittaker - Maternity Services Liaison Committee

Staff members Sue Bunt, Jennifer Lappin, Karen Perkins and Jane Smith and mothers Sarah Whittaker (along with baby Daniel, six months) and Anna Cox travelled to the House of Commons to receive the award from Health Minister Ivan Lewis earlier this month.

The improvements followed a series of complaints about care provided at the hospital after Caesarean births. The Friarage's Maternity Services Liaison Committee (MSLC), which is made up of doctors, midwives, health visitors and patients, contacted all women who had given birth by Caesarean within a six month period.

The women and their partners were asked for their comments on various aspects of the care they received and anything that they would have liked to have changed about their experience.

The judges were impressed with the Caesarean audit project and how users had been the spur for the scheme and had been involved throughout.

MSLC chairperson Sarah Whittaker, a mother-of-three, said: "It's fantastic that we have turned something negative into something positive.

"We're very proud to have won the award and also that since doing the work, we have received no further complaints about care. The staff at the Friarage do a great job, supported by the local community."

Your views:

    I had a c section at that hospital; the after care was poor and I got an infection and had complications which left me in poor health. NO ONE has ever checked up on me!

    A mum (name supplied)

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