During May 2016 Healthwatch Northumberland conducted a number of discussion groups across the county in order to better understand what is most important to women at each stage of their pregnancy and the maternity services they receive.
More and more, women are choosing to deliver their babies in bigger maternity units, such as the Northumbria Specialist Care Hospital in Cramlington and the RVI in Newcastle, which have the full range of services available on one site including obstetricians and other specialists. Over the years the number of women delivering babies in the standalone units like those at Berwick, Alnwick and Hexham hospitals has declined. Some of this is down to choice and some is due to national guidance which means that fewer women now meet the eligibility criteria for delivering in a standalone midwifery-led unit.
With these changes in mind, Northumberland CCG commissioned us to lead 12 discussion groups involving women living across the county who have recently accessed maternity services.
Read the full Maternity Services Report