GPs launch mission to uncover best services for mothers and babies

Doctors are asking parents from Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin to tell them about how services during and after pregnancy can be made even better.

They are launching a comprehensive review of maternity services. They particularly want to hear from anyone who has experiences of services during and after pregnancy since 1 April 2012.

Families, health professionals and interest groups are also being asked for their opinions.

The review is being carried out by Telford and Wrekin and Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) which are led by local GPs. Both Healthwatch Shropshire and Healthwatch Telford and Wrekin are observing the review to ensure that it reflects the local needs of the population and is thorough.

Bharti Patel-Smith of Shropshire CCG, who was a nurse and midwife for 17 years, said:

"The birth of a child is always a life-changing event, and around 6,300 babies have been born in our two neighbouring areas since 1 April 2012.

The aim of the review is to identify as much recent experience of using our maternity services as possible. That will allow us to build up a very detailed picture, so we can identify the best services from a patient’s viewpoint and make them even better.

The review is being backed by a dedicated Facebook page, an online survey, Twitter accounts and a number of public group discussions."

Bharti said: “We want as many parents as possible to take part in the review. We are very aware that many of those we want to connect with will be juggling work and childcare – they won’t have time for public discussion groups. We are aiming to hold meetings across thearea, but have also set up an online survey so that anyone who cannot attend the meetings can take part in the review.

“Our ultimate aim is to ensure a high quality experience during and after pregnancy. There are many different ways of monitoring this, but there is absolutely no substitute for hearing about personal experiences.

“We often know when things have not gone well. But we believe we miss a lot of the positive experiences because parents are so overwhelmed by the emotion of having a new family member that they don’t tell us. This survey is a chance to catch that missing information.

“Although mums are the ones most immediately affected by maternity services we want to hear from anyone with relevant experience. That includes dads, wider family members, health groups and staff working within maternity services and the wider NHS.”

The Telford and Wrekin and Shropshire Maternity Services online survey runs until 12 September. 

To have your say visit www.shropshireccg.nhs.uk or www.telfordccg.nhs.uk  or search for NHS Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin Maternity Services Review on Facebook