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Last Updated: Monday, 13 August 2007, 17:54 GMT 18:54 UK
NHS chiefs welcome births study
pregnant woman
The Welsh review followed concerns about services in England
Health chiefs say inspectors' findings on the work of maternity units in Powys reflect "excellent work" in modernising the service in the county.

Staff told Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW) officials that they felt "very well supported by senior colleagues", for instance.

Inspectors also reported that staff believed there was good communication within maternity units.

Powys Local Health Board (LHB) said it was very pleased with the report.

The findings were based on visits to the six midwife-led units across the county in February.

Inspectors have carried out maternity reviews across Wales after concerns were raised about services in England.

The review covered such areas as leadership, management, teamwork, and the experience and involvement of women and their families.

Senior staff told inspectors they felt they had good links to the LHB and they were "adequately briefed" on maternity services issues.

However, inspectors found policies did not "detail the practical steps that could be taken in the event of there being pressure" on the maternity service.

Kirsty Williams AM
It is vital that women and their families can have confidence in the service they will receive
Kirsty Williams AM

The HIW recommended that this policy should be updated to include practical steps that would be taken, and that it should be sent to all staff and audited regularly.

In Powys, deliveries take place at six hospitals: Brecon, Llandrindod Wells, Llanidloes, Victoria Memorial, Knighton, and Montgomery County Infirmary.

Most recent figures show that a total of 286 births took place in the county in 2005, with Victoria Memorial Hospital hosting the most, at 48.

Jackie Roberts, Powys LHB director of nursing, said the board was "very pleased with the report as it supports the excellent work undertaken to modernise Powys maternity services, which act as a model for the future development of local services."

Brecon and Radnorshire AM Kirsty Williams said: "This is a positive review for the LHB which highlights the good standard delivered by our maternity service."

She added: "It is vital that women and their families can have confidence in the service they will receive.

"This report should act as reassurance that our maternity department is providing that level of care, and I commend all the staff on their hard work and dedication to their jobs."

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