Healthwatch was approached by Frimley Health and Care Maternity System to create a project, to engage with new parents to help shape maternity services for the area in the future.
The project was across five Local Healthwatch organisations (Slough, Windsor, Ascot and Maidenhead, Bracknell Forest, Surrey and Hampshire) who engage with new parents in their communities to ask their views to help shape maternity services for the area in the future.
Healthwatch set up 15 focus groups with mothers and birthing partners and spoke to 96 people across the Frimley Integrated Care System area.
The Healthwatch teams also worked closely with the Maternity Voices Partnership in order to share learning about how best to engage with these groups.
"I had lots of additional appointments which was good that they took extra care of me to check everything was okay". — Young mother
Despite most respondents being satisfied overall with their experiences with Frimley Maternity Services, there were still some areas which people felt could be improved in order to make their experience better. Respondents from all backgrounds, and those who birthed at both Frimley and Wexham Park hospitals, focused on two main themes:
• Communication • Support
While this project has uncovered a lot of interesting feedback and highlighted recurring issues and room for improvement, there is a lot more work to be done to ensure the maternity services are providing equitable care to all those with different protected characteristics.