Airedale Hospital has scored above the national average in a survey of maternity services.

The Steeton hospital notched up 82 points each for its birthing unit and labour and post-natal wards in the NHS Friends and Family Test.

Post-natal community services achieved 89, while ante-natal services scored 74.

These scores compare favourably with the national averages of 75 for the labour ward/birthing unit, 66 for the post-natal ward, 74 for post-natal services and 63 for ante-natal services.

New and expectant mums were given a questionnaire at different stages of their maternity care and each element was scored based on how likely the person would be to recommend the service to friends and family.

Rob Dearden, director of nursing at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The real strength of the Friends and Family Test is that it ensures the voices of patients and their families are heard – putting people at the centre of their local NHS and enabling them to help shape better services much faster than more traditional survey methods. Comments and scores for various stages of care are rapidly available to our maternity team, so practical action can be taken to address problems that concern new and expectant mums, while positive comments are very important in maintaining the morale of hard-working staff.

“From ward to board, colleagues can look at the results of the Friends and Family Test and better understand how our maternity services are experienced by mothers and how improvements can be made.”

The FFT was introduced in April last year and extended to maternity services in October.

In addition to the points score, mums were also able to make comments, and in Airedale’s case these ranged from a “friendly service providing lots of information” to “excellent care from very supportive staff” and “fantastic care from all the midwives – they take their time with you to explain things”.

The full FFT data is published on the NHS Choices website, at