The 6-8 week maternal postnatal check in primary care: A survey of GPs
GP practices in England should offer an appointment to all people who have given birth 6-8 weeks after the birth to review their own health. We are researching how GPs are providing this service, what they typically do in these appointments and whether they think there are ways to improve it.
We are undertaking a survey of GPs in England and are currently recruiting GPs to take part. by completing a short, one-off online questionnaire (which takes around 10 minutes). Participating GPs will be entered into a prize draw to win a £50 Amazon shopping voucher for the practice.
If you are a GP working in England, we need to hear from you! Can you spare 10 minutes to share your thoughts?
You can read more about what is involved, and complete the survey here.
This work is being completed as part of Clare Macdonald’s PhD which is being completed at the University of Birmingham. Clare is researching the 6-8 week maternal postnatal check and how to improve it.
Clare’s PhD supervisors are: Dr Beck Taylor, Professor Christine MacArthur and Professor Debra Bick.
The study is sponsored and insured by the University of Birmingham.
This study aims to establish a broad understanding of current GP clinical and organisational practice in provision of the 6-8 week maternal postnatal check. It will contribute to the understanding of how GPs are currently providing the postnatal maternal check, and what are the clinical and organisational norms, with reference to national guidance.
It will also look for any demographic patterns that may help to explain differences in the provision of the maternal postnatal check by different GPs and ask the opinion of GPs about changes that may improve the 6-8 week maternal postnatal check.
Why is this research needed?
There are approximately 700 000 births per year in England and Wales. All women who have given birth should be offered an appointment with a GP around 6-8 weeks later. Although many GPs have been routinely arranging such reviews for decades, it has only been compulsory since 2020.
The weeks and months after giving birth are a high-risk time for developing new physical and mental health problems, and a crucial time to follow-up complications of pregnancy and birth. It is therefore important that the 6-8 week postnatal check is as effective as possible at addressing and managing these issues.
We know from previous research that women have varied experiences at their postnatal check, but we know very little about the range of content and detail in the checks from the perspective of GPs, and about what GPs feel could be helpful to improve things for women.
GPs who participate will each complete a one-off online questionnaire which takes around 10minutes
If you agree to take part, your information will be kept strictly confidential, only accessible to members of the research team and kept in line with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018. The questionnaire is hosted at onlinesurveys.ac.uk which is fully compliant with UK data protection law.
All GPs who complete the questionnaire can be entered into a prize draw to win a £50 Amazon shopping voucher unless they choose not to.
Please see the following link to the participant information sheet for further information regarding the study;