Experiences of midwife-led units wanted as part of review

New parents and mums-to-be are being invited to share their experiences of midwife-led units (MLUs), as part of a review by Shropshire, and Telford and Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs).

A new round of focused engagement work will reach out to people directly involved in, and using, the MLUs, including staff. The review is looking at how the MLUs in Bridgnorth, Ludlow, Oswestry, Shrewsbury and Telford meet the needs of local families and fulfil national guidelines.

The CCGs have commissioned an independent agency, ELC Works, to carry out face-to-face in-depth discussions to gain valuable information on how the MLUs are currently operating, and people’s experiences of using them.

Already, the CCGs have completed stage one of the review, which looked at existing local and national information, including valuable feedback from local stakeholder groups.

This latest round of engagement is the first step in phase two, and is looking at more detailed information and asking people for their feedback on the service. To start with, the engagement will be by targeting staff and those people currently using the service, but this is set to expand with more planned engagement work.

Dr Jessica Sokolov, GP Member and Clinical Director for Women’s and Children’s Services, said: “This latest engagement work is about opening conversations, so we can listen to people with invaluable experience of the MLUs and how they work day-to-day.

“Already, our partners have shared the information on the interview dates and venues with their staff, and our independently commissioned agency is making direct contact with any families who wish to take part.

“We wanted to take these conversations out to the people at the front line of the service, so they have the opportunity to take part in helping to shape future services.

“These are in-depth interviews and whilst this phase of engagement focuses on new parents and mums-to-be, the next phase, an on-line survey, will enable a much wider range of people to feed in their views. All of this information, as well as the information gathered in Phase 1 of the review, will then be considered in a series of ‘co-design workshops’, bringing women, their families, professionals and others with an interest in these services, together to discuss what the future service model should look like.

“Whilst we can also interview other interested parties during this phase of engagement, we would ask if we can focus the time on families and staff at this stage, as there will be further opportunity for others to give us their views”

Initially, the in-depth interviews will target women and their families who are currently using local midwife-led services, or have used them in the past 2.5 years. Staff and midwives at these centres are also being encouraged to share their experiences.

The on-line survey will be launched next month and the series of co-design workshops are planned for September.

For more information or to share your experiences of maternity services, phone ELC Works on 07879 480005 or email Georgina@elcworks.co.uk