Have your say on maternity services in Norfolk

A patients' group has launched a survey in a bid to find out about the state of Norwich and Norfolk's maternity services.

Norfolk LINk, the volunteer-led organisation that helps to improve health services in the county, is researching the quality of information and services offered to new mothers and mums-to-be.

The questionnaire is being distributed throughout Norfolk and asks anyone who has recently used maternity services in the county how well they were informed about their care and the care of their new arrival.

Carly Gerrard, a member of Norfolk LINk's maternity group, said: 'A number of mothers had come to us and raised concerns that the information given by various services in the NHS during pregnancy was not up to scratch in Norfolk.

'This is an area which appears to need to be improved, and so we decided that we would look into it to see if the issues were a series of one-offs or if there really were serious deficiencies in the service.

'Over the next three weeks, our volunteers will be out and about asking mums and dads if they received good maternity services or if their experiences could have been better.

'Once we have received the responses, we will be writing a report that we will present to the various departments that deal with maternity services to see where improvements can be made. Then we will monitor the services to ensure that those changes are made quickly and effectively.'

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Concerns have been raised nationally about the way maternity care is provided.

In a new year message, Cathy Warwick, head of the Royal College of Midwives (RCM), claimed that maternity services were 'almost near breaking point' and that there was a 'concerted and calculated backlash' against home birth and midwife-led care.

If you have had either good or bad experiences of maternity service in Norfolk and want to get involved with the survey, contact Norfolk LINk on freephone 0800 652 4158 or go to www.norfolklink.org.uk and click on Have your Say.

Have you had a baby in unusual circumstances? Contact Evening News health reporter Kim Briscoe on 01603 772419 or email kim.briscoe@archant.co.uk