Birth preparation and patient education service consultation

This consultation has now closed. We would like to thank everyone who shared their views. Our feedback report can be found here.

Why we consulted
The contract for the existing service had come to an end and we wanted to understand what service users wanted from future birth preparation classes.

When we consulted
We consulted in May – June 2016 which was when the existing service was up for review.

What we did
We carried out a targeted engagement exercise working with the following three groups:

  • Antenatal women including current provider service users, anticipating that this cohort of service users could highlight expectations of any antenatal education courses and identify some reasons why some choose not to access such provision.
  • Post-natal users of the current Birth Preparation and Education service who had a child during 2015 and 2016 to ensure feedback was current and related to existing service provision.
  • Healthcare professionals (midwives and health visitors) working alongside the current birth preparation and parent education provider.

The engagement took the form of online and paper surveys and focus groups, including with black and minority ethnic (BME) communities. The engagement aimed to establish the following:

  • What aspects of the course people found useful.
  • What additional information would people have liked.
  • Reasons why people chose not to attend the course.
  • Access – suitability of venues, times etc.
  • Insight into any other wider issues that may not be immediately obvious.

Who we spoke with
A total of 194 responses were received. The age range of service user respondents spread from 19 to 43 years of age with 49% (antenatal) and 57% (postnatal) of respondents experiencing parenthood for the first time.

The Results
The findings from the engagement showed that parents that had attended the classes valued them, with the benefits mostly in relation to preparation for labour and birth. One of the main reasons for non-attendance was parents being unaware of the availability of courses. Health professionals also identified this as an issue. The views of health professionals also suggested some difficulties with interagency and collaborative working in the delivery of the service.

Access to sessions was not deemed an issue for the majority of respondents and venues were considered to be fit for purpose. Feedback from BME groups was difficult to obtain, however, insight from the charity ‘One Humber’ has explained that parent education is not commonplace in many BME groups. The feedback report suggests that a different approach to engage with these groups is considered for future service delivery.

How we used this information
These finding were used as part of the full service review, with the final recommendation being to integrate the birth preparation and parent education service back into existing core maternity services.

More information
You can see more information birth preparation classes here.

Information on staying healthy during pregnancy is available here.

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