The Maternity Consumer Survey aims to assess women’s perceptions of maternity services. Previous surveys were carried out in 1999, 2002 and 2007. In 2011, for the first time, the Ministry also carried out a survey of bereaved women who had lost a baby between 20 weeks pregnancy and four weeks after birth.
The Maternity Consumer Satisfaction Survey of women who had live births was carried out by Nielsen NZ. The Maternity Consumer Survey of Bereaved Women was carried out by Research NZ with the support of Sands NZ (formerly Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Support NZ), who provided assistance with question design and briefing of interviewers.
Over 3,000 women responded to the Maternity Consumer Satisfaction Survey. The response rate of 41 percent was higher than in previous surveys, but Maori, Pacific and younger mothers were still under-represented. The survey results were weighted to balance the different response rates between groups. In general, satisfaction was high across most areas of maternity care, with the care provided by lead maternity carers (LMCs) receiving the highest satisfaction rating of 89 percent.
The survey also helped identify areas where improvement could be made. Statistical analysis identified which areas of maternity care were most closely correlated with overall satisfaction, which helped determine the highest priorities for improvement.
A total of 102 women participated in the Maternity Consumer Survey of Bereaved Women, which represented a response rate of approximately 20 percent. This survey required participants to explicitly opt in to a telephone survey. Participants reported generally high satisfaction with the care they received. However, a the survey identified number of areas were improved information and support could be provided.