BLOG: Why services for women and newborns must change

21 Jul 2016

I started my nursing career in women’s health almost 30 years ago and since 2007 I’ve been at Liverpool Women's, where I’m Director of Nursing & Midwifery.

The needs of patients have changed dramatically during my career. Women are living longer, and more of us than ever are able to start families despite having other medical problems. At the same time, very poorly newborns who previously wouldn’t have survived are now enjoying happy and healthy lives. Fans of Channel 4’s One Born Every Minute will have seen this for themselves. 

Improvements in care are obviously great news but they also mean health services must change to meet the new needs of patients.

Let me be absolutely clear - this is not about cutting services and to suggest otherwise is wrong. We want to make what we have even better so that every woman and newborn has the very best experience.

An increasing number of patients at Liverpool Women’s – often our most seriously ill women and newborns with very complex needs – require emergency transfers to other hospitals to get the right care.

Our brilliant staff work around some of the problems we face to ensure this is done safely, but these issues aren’t going away, and we want to do better for our patients.

Midwives, nurses and doctors have identified a number of areas where they think change is needed and now we want to hear from you, so we can understand your priorities. No decisions have been made yet.

The public has until 15 August to share their views, which we will use to develop some options for the future that we will share with you later this year or early next year. To take part visit www.healthyliverpool.nhs.uk or call (0151) 296 7537.

By Dianne Brown, Director of Nursing & Midwifery at Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Trust. This text first appeared in the Liverpool Echo’s My City column on 18 July 2016. 

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