From Heather Johnstone, Maternity Transformation Programme Director
Since the end of January we have held several maternity focus groups throughout Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, with a further two still yet to come.
The aim of these focus groups is to speak to new mums, expectant mums, people thinking about having a baby and relevant maternity staff and to listen to their views and experiences of local maternity services. Their feedback will help our programme to inform and improve maternity services across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.
So far, we have been to Lichfield, Burton-on-Trent, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Stafford, Cannock Chase and Stoke-on-Trent.
The two remain focus groups are as follows:
- 27 February, Wombourne Leisure centre
- 28 February, Leyfields Children’s Centre, Tamworth
Once the focus groups are complete, feedback will be collated and analysed and will help to inform our proposals for future services.
In addition, on 6 February the maternity transformation team held an event in Stafford to mark the relaunch of the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Maternity Voices Partnership (MVP). This drop-in event was aimed at new and expectant mums or people working in maternity services, with the aim of recruiting Maternity Champions. Maternity Champions help us to get feedback from mums and their families at groups they already attend, such as mother and baby groups. They then feed this back to us, where it is incorporated into our work and used to improve services.
Twelve women attended the event and there was a mixture of midwives (some that have had children, and some not), student midwives and new mothers, some of whom had attended the maternity focus groups and had heard about the MVP from there.
There were 12 exhibition stands on the day promoting the overall work of Together We’re Better: continuity of carer, becoming a Maternity Champions, digital records, Healthwatch, stopping smoking in pregnancy, Keele University, community centres, mini first aid, the Pathway Project, and perinatal mental health.
Our team will now contact the attendees who wanted to sign up as Maternity Champions and provide them with further information of how they can get involved. We will also collate feedback and comments, which will be added to the feedback we have received from the maternity focus groups.
The Maternity Voices Partnership event was a great opportunity for networking and we hope to arrange further events across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.