Maternity services transformation

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Developing Maternal Mental Health Services for Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent

Partners of Together We’re Better are developing a brand new service to help local families that have suffered through birth trauma, loss, and/or tokophobia (a severe fear of pregnancy, which can develop with or without previous experience of pregnancy).

It is a national ambition that Maternal Mental Health services will be available across the UK by 2023/24. Recently, we heard from local people about their experiences and listened to their views on how this service should look in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.

We heard from people living in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, who were aged 18+ and who considered themselves to have experienced birth trauma, loss, and/or tokophobia within the last five years.

We held a survey, which closed on 5 December 2021.

The results from this survey will now be analysed by the Maternity Transformation Programme, and the two NHS Trusts who will run the service (North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust and Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust). The feedback received will be used to help develop the new service for Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.


Previous involvement work: Transforming maternity services across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent 

As you will be aware the current demand for NHS services has risen exponentially and locally we are working hard across the health and care system to meet the needs of local people as quickly and as safely as possible. Whilst the number of patients we are caring for with COVID-19 is thankfully not at the levels experienced at the height of the pandemic, local hospitals are facing unprecedented workforce challenges due to COVID-19 infection and isolation.

Our priority is to ensure that we deliver safe services. This has meant that our local hospitals have had to take the very difficult decision to temporarily suspend home birthing services.

Home birth services at University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust (UHNM) have been suspended temporarily and you can find out more about this here.

Home birth services at University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust (UHDB) have been suspended temporarily and you can find out more about this here.


We have been working to improve maternity services across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent since 2016 and continue to listen to as many views and experiences of women and their families as possible, to help us progress our work.

Share your experience of maternity services in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.

Together We’re Better, the local health and care partnership, is seeking to improve midwifery services in these areas by offering more personalised care around the needs of pregnant people and their families.

Our clinicians and staff are working to develop proposals to support an on-demand model – this includes exploring how we can restore births at County and Samuel Johnson, which were temporarily closed due to COVID-19. There is more work for us to do, behind the scenes before we can confirm this model will happen. We will need to listen to our staff as we look to develop a continuity of carer rota. We will also need to train and recruit new midwives to support this community model

We hope that by autumn/winter 2021 we will be able to offer this model – subject to the COVID-19 situation.


Listening to your views

We also want to listen to the views of people who use, work in or support maternity services to inform our proposals.


July and August 2021 events

We held virtual events on Friday 16 July and Thursday 12 August to get feedback from people. At these events, we heard from people who have given birth in the last three years, are currently pregnant or are thinking of starting or expanding their family in the next few years. Partners and anyone working in maternity services were also encouraged to attend and share their views and experiences. 

If you were unable to attend these events, we also had a survey, where service users and staff could tell us about there experiences. The survey closed at midnight on 15 August 2021 and could be accessed online, by telephone or in paper format.

The feedback from the events and this survey will help to inform and shape future maternity services. We will aim to keep you informed and involved as we develop our proposals. The feedback from these events and the survey will be considered by the hospital trusts and the Clinical Commissioning Groups and will be published on our website.


For more information about this work and about our future ways of working, you can read our Issues Paper. You can also view our easy read version available here .

You can also watch our short video to listen to our midwives talking about potential future ways of working for maternity services.


Don’t have time for the full video? Watch our short videos, below:


  • Listening exercise 2019

    Listening exercise 2019

    In Summer 2019 we listened to the experiences of people using health and care services across the county and city. Using this feedback, we have moved into the next phase of the programme: the options development and appraisal process. During this phase our technical experts (including clinicians, staff and subject experts) are using the feedback from our engagement activity, alongside information and data from the different service areas to develop proposals for the future delivery of these services.

    We also held workshops in Autumn 2019 to share the feedback from the listening exercise, the emerging models of care and sought views on the desirable criteria. The desirable criteria (e.g. quality of care and accessibility) will be used to evaluate and score proposals for the future delivery of services across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.

    As part of this, we want to speak to more women, and their families, with experience of maternity services or who plan to use maternity services. More workshops with the public are being planned over the coming months to help inform these proposals and dates for these will be released shortly. No decisions have been made at this early stage of development.

    If you would like to be kept informed of future meetings or need further information please contact us via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    or call on 01785 276926.


    We hope that, by listening to the views of service users and interested groups, we will get a balanced view from these workshops, with which to move forward. You can find more information about this work, here.


  • Maternity Focus Groups January/February 2020

    Maternity Focus Groups January/February 2020

    To complement the above work, we held focus groups across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent throughout January and February 2020. We used these focus groups to speak to new mums, expectant mums, people thinking about having a baby and relevant maternity staff, to listen to their views and experiences of local maternity services. 

    This work will form part of the Together We’re Better Maternity Transformation Programme and the feedback gathered will help to inform and improve maternity services in local areas. 

    Through January and February last year we held the following focus groups:

    • 24 January, Charnwood Children’s Centre, Lichfield
    • 27 January, East Staffordshire Children’s Centre, Burton-on-Trent
    • 28 January, Newcastle Community Fire Station, Newcastle-under-Lyme
    • 29 January, Rising Brook Community Centre, Stafford
    • 4 February, Cannock Chase Children’s Centre, Cannock Chase
    • 7 February, The Dudson Centre, Stoke-on-Trent

    Mothers and midwives from across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent have so far told Together We’re Better about a variety of different experiences; praising staff for their hard work and dedication, but saying that their experience would be better if they had seen the same doctors and midwives throughout their pregnancy and after birth. We’ve also heard a lot about mental health issues during pregnancy and after birth, for both the mother and partner, amongst a wide range of other areas where things are working well and where services could be improved.

    We will continue to involve maternity service users throughout the year and upcoming sessions/chances to get involved will be shared across our social media and on this page.


There are plenty more ways you can get involved with our Maternity Transformation programme, such as becoming a Maternity Champion. Find out more about this and other ways of getting involved here.