The NHS England Better Births report sets out a vision and approach for improving NHS maternity services in England by 2021. The report recommends that health and care organisations across all areas of the country work together as local maternity systems.

Northamptonshire Health and Care Partnership’s local maternity systems are made up of our county’s two clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) working with Kettering General Hospital, Northampton General Hospital and Northamptonshire Healthcare Foundation Trust.

Our local maternity systems have a delivery team which is responsible for working with the local community to develop and implement the local vision for improved maternity care.

Getting started…

Northamptonshire Health and Care Partnership’s local maternity systems delivery team held two engagement events in the north and south of the county. The ‘Whose Shoes?’ events were aimed at local parents of babies and toddlers, as well as maternity service clinicians.

The workshops brought these groups together to discuss experiences of maternity services in Northamptonshire and they were well attended by both parents and clinicians, such as midwives and heads of midwifery services.

The Whose Shoes? events were facilitated through a fun interactive board game that incorporated key questions and encouraged discussion in a relaxed environment. The game was a great way of promoting discussion and pulling out common themes from attendees. The focus of the workshops was ensuring the key values of maternity services were always at the heart of change management and sessions were designed to be highly interactive and inclusive.

As well as playing the game and discussing experiences, those who attended the event were asked to write a pledge based on what they had learned on the day. A graphic artist was able to use the discussions and themes to create the infographic below to summarise the event.

Listening to Maternity Voices

Recruitment for the Northamptonshire Maternity Voices Partnership (MVP) was also promoted at the Whose Shoes? workshops. The MVP is a local volunteer group made up of mums who have used maternity services in Northamptonshire. Their role is viewed as critical to developing a palpable and genuine change in the services. Click here to find out more about the Northamptonshire Maternity Voices Partnership.