New mums have rated maternity services in North Devon as good as or better than other health trusts in the country.

Results of a Care Quality Commission (CQC) survey published today (Tuesday, January 29), found Northern Devon Healthcare Trust (NDHT) scored well according to 105 mothers who had their babies in February last year.

The survey asked new mums about their experience of care while they were pregnant, during labour and birth, in hospital after the birth, at home after the birth and for support with feeding.

In 11 out of 51 questions, the trust scored better than others nationally including for always listening to mums during antenatal appointments and at home after the birth. It was in line with trusts nationally for the remaining questions.

The CQC had previously issued two requirement notices to NDHT to ensure services are improved after an unannounced inspection in July, including in the maternity department.

In the survey, mothers were asked about their experience of labour, birth and post-birth across a range of categories.

The trust scored 9.9 out of 10 for being asked by a midwife or health visitor how they were feeling emotionally after the birth.

Getting the help they needed when they contacted a midwife after the birth also ranked highly at 9.7, as did partners or other loved ones being supported to be involved as much as they wanted.

And 9.6 out of 10 felt they were spoken to in a way they could understand.

It comes following the appointment of Joanne Hayward as interim head of midwifery, who will be responsible for implementing the recommendations from Better Births, a national strategy that will shape the maternity services of the future.

She said: "It's lovely to see some high scores in these results. This survey reflects the positive feedback we receive directly from women in our care about their experiences in labour and when back at home.

"We continue to work as a team to make some positive improvements in our service and these results will help shape those improvements. I would like to thank all our staff for their continued commitment to delivering a safe and compassionate service, which has resulted in very positive experiences for new mums and their families."

Joanne is also leading the launch, in the spring, of a new model of care that focusses on providing continuity of care for women.

The model aims to ensure women have a chance to get to know the midwife who will support their delivery, therefore providing a better experience.