It’s good news for mums-to-be in Maidstone, Malling, Sevenoaks, Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells -West Kent has been revealed as the best place to give birth in the England.
An NHS review looked at the maternity services provided by 209 clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) across the country.
West Kent was the only CCG to score the highest accolade of “top-performing” in the new Ofsted-style rankings.
Of the other 208 CCGs, only 53 were classed as the next highest category “performing well,” including NHS Canterbury and Coastal which covers Canterbury, Whitstable, Faversham and surrounding areas.
Services were broken down into four areas of care: stillbirth and neonatal mortality rates, maternal smoking rate at delivery, mothers’ experience, and choice in maternity services.
The data is intended to help CCGs address areas which need improvement and judge how effectively they are working in the future.
The new rating system comes after damning news that Britain is currently ranked 33rd out of 35 in the developed world for its stillbirth rates – double those of the best performing countries.
The lowest stillbirth rates are Finland and Singapore with 2 per 1,000 births.
Dr Matthew Jolly, NHS England’s National Clinical Director for The Maternity Review and Women’s Health, said: “It has never been safer to give birth in this country and the vast majority of women report a good experience, but there is more that we can do.”
“The ratings published today will help local areas identify where they are doing well and importantly where improvements can be made – helping to ensure women and their families have a good experience wherever they live.”
“The publication of Better Births, the report of the national maternity review has given us a powerful vision for how we can move towards safer, more personalised maternity services and implementation is now underway.”
The poorest performing CCGs according to the assessment were Bradford Districts; Durham Dales, Easington and Sedgefield; East Riding of Yorkshire; Hull; Milton Keynes; Nottingham City; South Gloucestershire; Slough; South Tees; South Warwickshire; and Wolverhampton.
To see the full maternity services scorecard visit: www.nhs.uk/service-search/scorecard