NHS organisations in Northumberland are finding out from women who live in Alnwick and the surrounding area about what is important to them when they use maternity services.
Over the next few weeks, an independent research company will be talking to local women with children under five and those who don’t yet have any children but who may become pregnant in the future.
This work is being carried out for NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), working closely with Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust which manages hospitals and community health services in Northumberland and North Tyneside.
Dr Alistair Blair, chief clinical officer of Northumberland CCG, said: "We hope that local women who are approached by the independent research company will take the opportunity to share their views about what kind of services they are looking for when they become pregnant. It is very important to make sure that as much as possible our services meet the needs and wishes of local people and engagement exercises like this help us to do that."
He added that the CCG was also looking forward to hearing the outcome of a national review of maternity services set up last year by NHS England to assess current maternity care provision and consider how services should be developed to meet the changing needs of women and babies. The review has involved extensive engagement with women and others with an interest in maternity care. A report following the review is expected to be published early this year.
The CCG is responsible for planning and buying the majority of hospital and community health services for people living across Northumberland and as such it routinely engages with the public to ensure that the services provided remain responsive to local needs.