Maternity Unit Design part 4: midwives' perceptions of staff facilities

Andrew Symon, Jeanette Paul, Maggie Butchart, Val Carr, Pat Dugard

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Staff wellbeing is a recognized feature of workplace effectiveness. This final results paper presents data on staff attitudes from a multi-site study in England examining maternity unit design. Two hundred and twenty-seven midwives completed questionnaires relating to their workplace; follow-up focus groups provided further insights. Adequate and clean facilities for rest, uniform changing and washing appear not to be available in many units. While most midwives felt that the clinical area was spacious enough, those working in midwife-led units (MLUs) were more likely to say that ward layout facilitated observation of mothers and babies (p<.001) and promoted positive staff interaction (p<.001). Midwives in obstetric-led units (OLUs) were more likely to indicate that ward layout made maintaining cleanliness more difficult (p=.01). Poor air quality and oppressive lighting were the most commonly cited environmental sources of potential health problems. Midwives’ workstations were frequently cramped with inadequate space for computer and other electronic equipment. At times this was felt to compromise confidentiality
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)228-231
    Number of pages4
    JournalBritish Journal of Midwifery
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2008


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