Survey of patient satisfaction with the Breastfeeding Education and Support Services of The Royal Women's Hospital, Melbourne Academic Article uri icon


  • BACKGROUND: The Breastfeeding Education and Support Services (BESS) is a unit of The Royal Women's Hospital in Melbourne, Australia, staffed by International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs), providing day/short-stay and an outpatient clinic for mothers and infants with breastfeeding problems. It is important to measure women's experience of visiting the service as part of quality assurance. The aim of this project was to conduct an anonymous postal survey of clients' satisfaction with BESS. METHODS: An anonymous survey was posted on 16 November 2005 and again on 31 January 2006, to all women who had attended BESS in September 2005. RESULTS: The response rate was 60.5% (78/129). Eighty percent (62/78) of respondents attended day-stay, 33% (26/78) attended short-stay and 15% (12/78) attended the outpatient clinic. The percentage of women who responded "strongly agree" to the statement "Overall, I am satisfied with the services" was 49% (35/72) and 50% (6/12) for those who went to day/short-stay and the outpatient clinic respectively. Overall, 56% of all respondents responded that the quality of BESS was "better than expected". The most common breastfeeding problem reported was difficulty attaching the baby to the breast, followed by nipple damage, low milk supply and painful feeding. CONCLUSION: BESS seems to have provided a satisfactory service to most clients. Most respondents were clearly satisfied with the support given by the IBCLCs and have also responded that the staff were professional and knowledgeable in their field of work.

publication date

  • December 2008