Published Fri, 2010-10-15 14:58; updated 1 year ago.

People in Solihull and Birmingham are being asked for their views on plans aimed at improving local maternity services.

The proposals go out for public consultation from October 18 to January 24 next year with the aim of giving local people a say in how care for mothers and babies is provided, from before pregnancy to care after the birth.

Solihull NHS Care Trust and NHS Birmingham East and North carried out a review of maternity services across their areas to radically reshape and modernise maternity care provided for women and their families, especially for the most vulnerable or disadvantaged.

After listening to the views of clinicians, including doctors and midwives, plus local mothers and pregnant women, they have drawn up proposals and now want to know what local people think about them.

A consultation document and supporting information will be available online and from the Patient Advice and Liaison Services freephone telephone 0800 783 2894 or by emailing pals@solihull-ct.nhs.uk or palsbenpct@nhs.net

At the heart of the consultation is an option for care during childbirth which would see a midwife-led birth centre permanently provided at Solihull Hospital and women having a wider choice of where and how to give birth.

Solihull NHS Care Trust’s Medical Director, Dr Patrick Brooke, said: “This review provides us with a huge opportunity to improve the care that we offer women to make it more supportive, as well as a larger focus on prevention and early identification of potential problems resulting in a safer, higher quality service overall.

“Our vision is that women will be supported from before they conceive until after mother and baby no longer need support.”

Dr Mike Caley, Public Health Registrar for NHS Birmingham East and North, said they had the opportunity to make real changes to the health of their population.

“The whole package – from the prevention of unwanted pregnancies to supporting mothers and father after the birth of their baby – has the potential to deliver far reaching improvements to health.”

The first meeting is on Wednesday, 3 November at 2 pm at the Fordbridge Centre in Nineacres Drive, Chelmsley Wood, when Dr Brooke and Dr Caley will give details, answer questions and take note of opinions.

Further meetings will be held at Castle Vale Library, Spitfire House, 10 High Street, Castle Vale, and Solihull Methodist Church Hall, Blossomfield Road, Solihull, both on Tuesday, 9 November at 1pm;
Shirley Methodist Church Hall, 257 Stratford Road, Shirley, Solihull, on Monday, 15 November at 7pm;
St Paul’s Centre, 405b Belchers Lane, Bordesley Green, Birmingham on Wednesday, 17 November at 5.30pm; and
Mere Green Community Centre, 30A Mere Green Road, Four Oaks, Sutton Coldfield, on Wednesday, 1 December at 5pm.