Health watchdog report reveals how some pregnant women in Wales feel ‘let down’ over care during coronavirus pandemic
A health watchdog report has shown some pregnant women in Wales have been left feeling “let down” by their experience of maternity care during the Covid-19 pandemic.
It comes despite Community Health Councils (CHCs) finding there was widespread appreciation for NHS workers across the country.
The review also revealed that more still needs to be done to improve access and quality of care for everyone.
Throughout the pandemic, CHCs have engaged with people across Wales to hear their views as part of a national survey of NHS care.
Today’s report highlights how the coronavirus crisis has affected people’s experiences of maternity care.
John Pearce, Chair of the Board of Community Health Councils in Wales, said: “Our report highlights just how much people appreciate the caring NHS staff who made such a difference to them as they went through their life changing experience in difficult circumstances, sometimes without their loved ones with them.
“We are grateful to all those NHS staff who have consistently put their patients first during what is a very challenging time for everyone.
“We also heard that this was not everyone’s experience, and somewomen felt let down.
“The NHS needs to do everything it can so that women and their families feel cared for, supported and properly informed at a time when it may not be possible to have the kind of maternity care everyone would want them to have.
“Good communication and access to clear and up to date information is key to this.
“As the coronavirus pandemic continues to affect our lives, NHS decision makers need to continue to think about and balance the impact of COVID-19 restrictions with the mental health and wellbeing of women and their families going through this life changing experience in such difficult circumstances.”
Overall, the report finds that people across the country have been incredibly supportive of NHS staff.
CHCs heard consistently how much women and their families’ value the commitment of healthcare workers to provide the best possible care and treatment during the unprecedented situation.
However, while people said that they understood the need to adapt services, some still felt that they had been let down.
Some new parents revealed that the impact of the pandemic continued to affect their on-going care and support after birth.
While the report states that in most cases pregnancy and childbirth leads to a healthy mother and baby, when things do go wrong the impact can be devastating and long lasting.
For any family dealing with this during the pandemic, the risks of not having the right support at the right time were higher.
The report also highlights a need to make sure that everyone gets the support and information they require more easily.
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