Maternity transformation

Maternity transformation

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1 July 2022

Earlier conversations about maternity services, 2019 and 2021 

In 2019, Together We’re Better ran a listening exercise about local health and care services, which included people’s experiences of maternity services. You can read about that involvement on the transformation journey website page

We were able to restart the conversation in summer 2021, when we asked people about their experiences of using maternity services before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Other questions included whether people would choose a homebirth, and what would influence their choice about this.  

240 people responded to our survey and 28 people took part in the two online events we held. You can read about what they told us in the Report of findings and the Summary report of findings. 

You may also be interested in our Issues Paper (July 2021) or the easy read version of the paper. 

Maternity services, 2023  

As part of this ongoing involvement, we are continuing to review our maternity services in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent. As part of this, we are exploring the future of our freestanding midwife-led birthing units (FMBUs)

These are units at County Hospital in Stafford and Samuel Johnson Community Hospital in Lichfield, where women with low-risk pregnancies could choose to give birth.  

The two FBMUs were closed for births during the COVID-19 pandemic, to ensure safe staffing at the consultant-led units at Royal Stoke University Hospital and Queen’s Hospital, Burton. 

Both the Trusts that run the FMBUs are providing antenatal and post-natal care at these units, and offer the choice of a consultant-led or midwifery-led birth at Royal Stoke University Hospital and Queen’s Hospital, Burton. 

A shortage of midwives, which is a national problem, has meant it has not yet been possible for the two Trusts to safely re-open the FMBUs to births. 

Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent ICB is currently undertaking a service change programme in relation to the birthing services that are temporarily closed. The service change programme will be conducting in accordance with the NHSE guidance ‘Planning, assuring and delivering service change for patients’: planning-assuring-delivering-service-change-v6-1.pdf ( 

It is important to us that we hear from you. If you would like to share your views about our FMBUs, or any other aspect of our maternity services, we are putting together a maternity services panel.  

We would like to hear what you think is important in maternity services. We are keen to know what you think is working well, and what could be improved. 

To register online or find out more, visit our website: 

No decisions have yet been made and we will continue to update this page about the programme.