North Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent CCGs have been using social media to engage with pregnant women and new mums and dads in the area.
With heavy focus from NHSE currently on transforming maternity services, the CCGs are committed to providing service users with a voice and to help them be involved with the future shaping of services which will improve outcomes for all women and babies.
The development of a closed Facebook group aimed at local women and their families is enabling the CCGs to gather and analyse the needs of the diverse local communities whilst also reaching out to seldom heard groups such as minority ethnic groups, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) groups, asylum seekers, refugees and young carers etc. The views of women and their families who have had an experience of local maternity services, whether they are straightforward pregnancies and births or experiences of neonatal, perinatal mental health, bereavement, diabetes, breastfeeding, smoking cessation services etc are instrumental in the transformation of Staffordshire’s maternity services.
The closed Facebook group titled ‘Improving Maternity Experiences in Staffordshire’ has reached out to 250 pregnant women and new mums and dads within just two months of being created. During this time almost 120 items of feedback have been received on various areas.
As well as providing their views on areas that could be improved, many of our local mums and dads have also taken the time to offer outstanding praise and thanks to our hands-on maternity staff who “are amazing and to be valued”.
As well as providing their views and experiences of maternity services, the group also enables families to find out about local events such as breastfeeding, baby massage and mental health groups etc which all help to improve their experience of being a new mum or dad.