Local people across north and mid Hampshire are being asked to have their say on the way maternity services are delivered across the area as part of the Hampshire Together programme.
The Hampshire Together: Modernising our Hospitals and Health Services programme involves NHS and social care providers across Alton, Andover, Basingstoke, Eastleigh, Winchester and the surrounding areas. It is being led by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Partnership of Clinical Commissioning Groups, Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and West Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group.
The programme includes the construction of a brand new hospital – but the programme’s impact will reach far beyond the walls of this new building, involving GPs, mental health, community care, social care and the wider voluntary sector, as well as acute hospital care.
This week, the focus is on maternity services, which are currently provided at all three of the hospitals operated by Hampshire Hospitals, as well as in the community. Full maternity units staffed by midwives and doctors, with facilities available for surgery such as caesarean sections and neonatal care, are available at both Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital and Royal Hampshire County Hospital, in Winchester. There is a midwifery-led birthing centre at Andover War Memorial Hospital.
Women can also choose to give birth at home and many appointments during pregnancy take place in community settings such as GP practices and community hubs. Midwives also provide home visits to families in the days after a baby is born.
Miss Avideah Nejad, consultant obstetrician and clinical director of women’s health at Hampshire Hospitals, said: “We are proud of the services we offer to women and families, but we believe there may be an opportunity to do better if we could reconfigure the way services are managed.
“We are still in the process of thinking about what the alternatives to the current system might be as part of the Hampshire Together programme – and we really want to hear from families who have used our services recently to learn about their experiences and listen to what they would like us to be able to do differently.”
Steve Brine MP added; “As I have said previously, this is a welcome exercise if it is a genuine attempt to listen to people on future health services.
“In reality, I suspect a very well formed view has already been taken but no-one should hide from the fact a replacement hospital for Basingstoke, which is what Hampshire Together has as its centre-piece, will have far-reaching consequences as clinical logic follows its course.
“There is obviously a lot going on at the moment, and the public is understandably distracted on all sorts of levels due to Covid-19, but I cannot stress enough that now is the time to speak up about the services you value in Winchester and how you want the local NHS to look in the future.”
Pictured; Steve with his young son (William) and then Trust Chairman at HHFT in the RHCH birthing unit.
More information ...
You can hear more about the challenges facing maternity services, and how these could be overcome, during a special online engagement event taking place at 1pm on Friday 19 June. You can register here.