New mothers, mums-to-be, expectant dads and anybody else interested in local healthcare are being given the opportunity to find out more about a proposal to enhance maternity services in Swindon, Wiltshire and Bath and North East Somerset.

An information event – in which staff from Swindon and Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Groups and the Great Western Hospital will provide attendants with more details on the plans – will take place at Sanford House in Swindon town centre on Thursday 10 January at 10am.

Unveiled last month, the proposal has been designed with both patients and staff in mind and has the overall aim of providing mums and dads with a greater choice of birthing options, while also making more efficient use of existing buildings and current NHS staff.

A consultation is now under way and local people are being asked to share their views on the proposal which, if introduced, would see an additional alongside-midwifery-unit created at both the Royal United Hospital in Bath and Salisbury District Hospital, and more resource dedicated to providing mums with extra home support during the first few days and weeks after birth.

Lucy Baker, Acting Director for Maternity Services at Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Our proposal is the result of feedback gained from listening to over 2,000 women and families, staff, midwives, obstetricians and others with an interest in maternity services to look at ways we can improve the services we provide to mothers and families across the region. 

“To do that, we need to make some changes to how we currently do things.

“Our proposal would allow us to provide more choice for more women across our area about where and how they are supported before, during and after the birth of their baby, and allows us to make more efficient use of our resources and workforce so we can further improve our antenatal and post-natal and birthing services. 

“We also want to ensure we are delivering the services that can meet the changing needs of our local women and families both now and in the future.”

The proposal also details the changes that would affect the region’s community birthing options, with hospital births no longer being supported at Trowbridge and Paulton Community Hospitals.

Under the proposal, there will be no changes to how maternity services are provided at the Great Western Hospital in Swindon.

The event at Sanford House in January will be a chance for people in Swindon to hear about the proposal in more detail, receive further information and ask questions directly to staff involved with the project.

Anybody wishing to attend but unable to do so can still take part in the consultation, which runs until Sunday 24 February, by sharing their thoughts in writing or by completing the online questionnaire.

More details on the proposal, including the reasons for change and how it will affect mothers in Swindon, Wiltshire and Bath and North East Somerset, along with information on how to give feedback can be found at www.transformingmaternity.org.uk.