Maternity Messages: Improving Early Access

Lead: NHS Leeds CCG

Period: 1st Feb 2018 - 31st Mar 2018

Brief summary of the project

The key aim of the engagement was to explore public perceptions of four maternity related messages drafted by the CCG Children’s Commissioning team.

The messages were presented as follows:

 Message 1:

As soon as you’re pregnant, it is important for you to see your midwife as soon as possible, even if you’ve had a baby before.”

Message 2:

“The early stages of pregnancy are the most important time for a baby’s development. Your midwife will help support the physical and emotional wellbeing of you and your baby.”

Message 3:

“Your midwife will help you to access the benefits available to you such as free prescriptions and free dental care, and will give you up to date information around staying healthy during pregnancy such as information on screening and immunisation.”

Message 4:

“Book an appointment as soon as possible it’s easy. Ask the GP receptionist for an appointment with a midwife or visit to refer yourself.”

 Who did we ask?

 Four groups were prioritised within the consultation due to their relatively low engagement with midwifery during early pregnancy, these were:

  • White families in areas of high deprivation
  • Under 25-year olds
  • People of African heritage
  • People of Bangladeshi heritage

What did we ask?

Objectives for the consultation were to investigate:

  • Public perceptions of the wording of each draft message presented.
  • Preferred methods of communicating the messages to intended audiences.

How did we ask?

We used an online survey to gather feedback – 49 people completed this questionnaire, and 13 people provided their views across two focus groups.

What did people tell us?

 A number of key findings emerged across the engagement, these can be summarised as follows:

  • While questionnaire data indicated that the maternity messages were easily understood by respondents, more in-depth discussion with largely BME women within the focus groups indicated that the language used in the messages was often deemed to be too complex.
  • Data collected in the engagement revealed a concern that the language used within the messages may not be accessible to women and families who have English as a second language.
  • There was a belief that women who had English as a second language would benefit from additional support to ensure messages were received and fully understood.
  • Those involved in the engagement appeared to value a range of communication methods to receive the messages.

If you have any questions about this engagement please email us at or call  on 0113 84 35450.


Maternity Messages – Report (232KB)

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