Maternity Services in BLMK

Have your baby your way

We believe that women, their partners and birth partners should be in the driving seat when it comes to pregnancy, labour, birth and post birth care. That’s why we’re working together to improve maternity services in our area.

As part of the national ‘Better Births’ programme, we want to change how we approach maternity care so that we are more open and inclusive, integrate our services so they’re easier for women to access and work with local people as part of a team, so we know the services we provide are right for the communities we serve.

Find out more about Better Births.

We’re listening

In January this year, went out to Children’s Centres in Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes, and conducted an online survey, so we could find out more about the experiences women have of maternity services in our area.

Over three months, we listened to 900 women and asked about everything from the experience they had with their GP to the hospital and in the community. This helped us to spot the similarities across the area and identify areas of best practice that we can learn from.

The findings of the survey will also provide a benchmark, and help us to deliver an action plan for improvement which we can monitor as the Local Maternity System plan is delivered.

If you want to find out what people said about their experience in your area – read our survey report

What are we doing?

The Local Maternity Plan focuses nine work streams, which include:

  • Prevention
  • Neonatal care
  • Perinatal Mental Health
  • Quality
  • Workforce and culture
  • Community Hubs and Estates
  • Finance
  • Commissioning for outcomes
  • Digital

Each work stream is focused on improving the services we provide and introducing new ones, so that we can improve the experience of women and families in our area. To make sure that the services we provide reflect the wishes of local people, we have set up a co-production steering group, which is made up of women, birth workers and clinicians from across Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes. The group has the opportunity to review all of the work streams and use their experiences to make recommendations and shape services, to improve the experience of women in the future.

Co-production Steering Group

The Co-Production Steering Group is a group made up of public representatives, clinicians, childbirth groups, mental health groups, hospitals, disability groups and Healthwatch from across Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes. Responsible for scrutinising plans and providing recommendations to shape services, the group is focused on ensuring that women can access the same standard of care wherever they live. The Group reports into the Operational Board for the Local Maternity Services programme, and meets quarterly.

You can view the Terms of Reference for this Group here.

You can also read all about our discussion here.

You can read our communication plan here.

Maternity Voice Partnerships

Attached to the Co-Production Steering Group there are three Maternity Voice Partnerships:

  • Bedfordshire Maternity Voice Partnership
  • Luton Maternity Voice Partnership and;
  • Maternity MK.

Run exclusively by volunteers and attended by community and hospital based midwives, obstetricians and commissioners, the Partnerships ensure that the voices and experiences of women are listened to and used to affect change. If you would like to join a Maternity Voice Partnership in your area, contact: