Improved access to mental health services, and continuity of carers during pregnancy, birth and beyond, are all key discussion areas in the ongoing public conversation about heath and care taking place across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.
Together We’re Better (TWB), the health and care partnership for Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, is running a series of listening events, feedback sessions and roadshows as part of a 12-week public conversation, seeking views on health and care services locally.
Enhancing the current range of maternity and newborn services, and ensuring they are better connected, will ensure the best start in life for children born in the county. Members of the public have been invited to share their views on the challenges currently facing the system, including
- Difficulties accessing perinatal services, which is particularly important for mothers under 18 years of age
- Non-continuity of carers during pregnancy, birth and beyond having a detrimental effect on the health of mothers and babies
- Unsustainable use of Midwife-led units, which are an appropriate setting for low-risk births but are currently under-utilised.
The 12-week public conversation being held by the Together We’re Better partnership of NHS and local government organisations, working alongside Healthwatch and voluntary and community sector groups, is seeking to understand what is working well, what should be improved and what is important to local people when it comes to health and care.
Dr Simon Cunningham, Clinical Lead for Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Maternity Transformation Programme, commented: “Our 12-week listening exercise is about understanding things from a patient’s point of view. We’re particularly keen to encourage people who’ve not expressed their opinions before to step forward and make their voice heard. We want to understand how we can serve the needs of those people better than we do at the moment.
“In terms of maternity care, we have several different programmes aiming to improve continuity of care through midwife teams, destigmatising perinatal mental health issues - making it easier to seek support – and enhancing the overall quality and safety of our services. We’re keen to develop our maternity services to make it easier for patients to get the right services in the right locations.”
As well as improving and enhancing maternity services, the conversation, which runs until midnight on Sunday 25 August, is also focusing on:
- How the local health and care system can embrace and fully utilise new technology and ensure the buildings we deliver services from are fit for purpose
- Reviewing the use and function of the community hospitals in South Staffordshire
- Exploring what ‘integration of health and care services’ really means for local people
- Identifying additional priorities that will deliver clinical and financial stability.
Your views will not only help in developing any future service proposals, but also inform the local Five Year Strategic Plan that will be published in Autumn 2019 and outline the local response to the priorities set down in the national NHS Long Term Plan.
Listening events are being held at the following times and locations – attendees are asked to ensure they confirm their place by clicking on the relevant booking link:
Wednesday 31 July
Best Western Tillington Hall Hotel, Eccleshall Road, Stafford, ST16 1JJ
How to get involved
More information about the 12-week public conversation can be found on Together We’re Better’s website at www.twbstaffsandstoke.org.uk/get-involved/health-and-care. There you will be able to:
- Read our Health and Care in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent document, and Summary document, that goes into more detail about what this is about, why change is needed, the challenges and opportunities locally and the areas we need to talk about
- Complete an online survey that seeks your views. Hard copies of the survey, including an Easy Read version can also be provided by getting in touch through our Contact Us page
- Drop in to one of our roadshows being held across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent in busy public areas such as shopping centres, supermarkets, leisure centres and libraries.
- For more information or to get help completing the survey, call us on 01785 276926.