Before the COVID pandemic, we carried out a review of our local midwifery care. This involved listening to the views and experiences of hundreds of women and their families to understand how they want to be cared for and supported before, during and after having a baby.
The review also involved gathering the views of professionals working in or with maternity services and looking at the latest research, evidence and best practice across the country.
The review highlighted that the current model of midwifery care can be improved. The evidence and the feedback told us that it does not always meet the needs and wishes of most women living in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin today.
We looked in detail at all the feedback and evidence. Bringing all this information together, we developed a proposal for how we can transform the way midwifery care is delivered.
By making these changes, more women across Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin would get high quality midwifery care closer to home improving outcomes for them and their babies. It would also help create a great service for staff to work in where they will be able to work more flexibly to provide midwifery care where it is needed.
The proposal has to go through a robust assurance process before we go out to consultation.
The Transforming Midwifery Care consultation is being led by NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin.
Over the last three years, we have carried out a review of our local midwifery care which has involved:
- Listening to the views and experiences of hundreds of women and their families to understand how they want to be cared for and supported before, during and after having a baby
- Listening to the views of professionals working in or with maternity services, and partners across local health and care
- Looking at the latest research, clinical evidence and best practice across the country
What the review told us:
- The way midwifery care in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin is designed and organised has not changed for over 30 years, but our communities and the needs of women and their families have
- More women are being identified as having higher risks of complications during pregnancy
- The number of midwives and maternity support workers are not based where most women need them to be
- The services women can currently access close to home are different across the county and they aren’t always where the majority of women are or where there is most need
- We must make sure we use the available resources well so that women and their families get the greatest benefit possible
What change would achieve:
- Women and their families have easier access to safe, high quality midwifery care closer to home, now and in the future
- More pregnant women get the specialist support they need closer to home to improve their health and the health of their babies
- Women have access to a full range of places to give birth
- All women have the same team of midwives looking after them throughout their pregnancy and after the baby is born
- All women having a MLU or home birth have the same team of midwives looking after them during the birth of their baby as they do during their pregnancy and afterwards
- More women receive personalised care and have more choice throughout pregnancy, during and following the birth of their baby
- Women receive their care from staff where and when they are needed
- We will make the best use of our available resources, including staff, equipment and buildings
By making these changes, more women across Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin would get high quality midwifery care closer to home and benefit from better health outcomes for them and their babies.
We are proposing that we create a network of midwifery care services, including:
- Midwife-led Units (MLUs) where women can give birth
- New maternity hubs open 12 hours a day, seven days a week offering an enhanced range of services
- Clinics in the local community
- Home visits
- 24/7 access to midwives on the phone, by video or face to face