Design and use of space are critical features of contemporary healthcare facilities, but there is often pressure on available space. The drive to minimize the ‘institutional’ feel of maternity units has led to the move to make them more ‘homely’. This first of three results papers presents findings from a three-year ninesite study in England examining maternity unit design and its impact on women giving birth there. Data from a questionnaire survey of 559 mothers and 227 ward-based staff are augmented by analysis of follow-up focus groups. For mothers perceptions of spaciousness were strongly associated with overall satisfaction with surroundings and facilities (p<.01), as well as with care received (p<.01). Mothers’ perceived ability to move themselves or room furniture around during labour varied across units and was not associated with overall room size. Among midwives the belief that they provided good quality care was moderately correlated with positive responses concerning ward layout (p<.01) and a comfortable working environment (p<.01).
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||British Journal of Midwifery|
|Publication status||Published - 2008|