A Liverpool hospital is inviting members of the public to help shape how services are delivered in the future at special events taking place later this month.
Liverpool Women's NHS Foundation Trust, which provides specialist services for women, babies and their families, launched its Future Generations Strategy earlier this summer, with the aim to redesign how services are provided to better meet the needs of the current and future population of Liverpool.
The Trust, which is the hospital of choice for over 8'000 pregnant women across the region each year, is holding two listening events on the 29th September at Blackburne House, one in the afternoon and one in the evening, to provide members of the public with the opportunity to discuss how services might be delivered in the future, and any services that they would like to see Liverpool Women's deliver that aren't currently provided.
Dr Joanne Topping, Interim Medical Director and Consultant Obstetrician at Liverpool Women's, said: "This is an exciting time for women and their families across the region. We’re taking this once in a generation opportunity to look at how we might do things better for the people we serve currently, and the future generations of people who will need our services over the next 20 years."
Dr Topping explained that the clinical needs of women and their families across the region have changed over the past 20 years, whilst developments in research and technology have made it possible to treat more people than ever before.
Dr Topping said: "In the last 20 years, advancements in medicine have meant that women with underlying health conditions, such as heart conditions, diabetes and cystic fibrosis, are much more likely to be able to have a baby than they ever were before. Some of the babies born prematurely on our neonatal unit would not have survived even 10 years ago, but due to the development in technology and medical understanding, babies born as young as 24 weeks have a fighting chance of making it home."
"We've seen an increase in the number of women with gynaecological cancers, and the success rates experienced by our Hewitt Fertility Centre have also advanced to such a level that women who would not have been able to get pregnant, now have a greater chance of conceiving. We have also seen an increase in the number of women that choose to have children later in life."
"Whilst we are delighted to be able to help more women, babies and their families than ever before, these medical advancements pose new, and complicated challenges to us. For example, some of our women or babies will require immediate transfer to another hospital for emergency care – which might result in babies being separated from their mothers periodically. This is just one of the many scenarios that we must find a solution to."
Kathryn Thomson, Chief Executive Officer of Liverpool Women's, said: "We should always be thinking about how we can be best placed to respond to developments in medicine and the changing needs of women and their families. We also have a duty to ensure we make the best use of the money available to us. We believe now is the right time to think about the next generation of our services. Anyone who is passionate about the services that we provide and wants to get involved should visit www.lwhfuturegenerations.org and register for one of our two listening events, or call 0151 702 4372 for more information. We would ask anyone who would like to come to please register first."