Transforming maternity services proposals approved for South West England

on 20 January 2020

Proposals to transform maternity services across Somerset and Wiltshire have been approved, which aim to make better use of resources and give women more choice on where to have their babies.

The proposals were approved by joint Governing bodies of Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Groups.

A decision to approve the proposals was made following three years of engagement and consultation with more than 4,000 women, staff and partners within the local community.

As part of the proposals, Trowbridge and Paulton Freestanding Midwifery Units will no longer be used for births; however, antenatal and postnatal care will continue.

Alongside Midwifery Units (AMUs) will open at Salisbury Hospital Foundation Trust and the Royal United Hospital in Bath.

Speaking to Bath Echo, Acting Deputy Director of Nursing and Midwifery at the Royal United Hospital in Bath and Salisbury Hospital, Sarah Merritt, said: “These proposals will help us provide more choices for birth to more women and will build a strong foundation on which to enhance continuity of care so that more women can see the same midwife or small team of midwives before, during and after labour.”

While maternity services in the local area are changing, it has been confirmed that the proposals will not see the closure of any buildings, reductions in budget or staffing.

Maternity Voices Partnership Lead and member of the expert panel that reviewed the consultation and developed the final proposal, Chaya Tagore, adds: “It’s really important that all women across Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire have easy access to maternity services and this proposal means more choice to more women about where to have their baby.”

More information about the changes to these maternity care services can be found on the Transforming Maternity website here.