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Changes to Birthing Services in the Vale of Leven Community Maternity Unit

What is our proposal?

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHS GGC) is considering making changes to how it provides midwife led labour and birthing services at the Vale of Leven Community Maternity Unit.

We are not proposing to close the Vale of Leven Community Maternity Unit. All ante natal and post natal services will remain and continue to be provided. 

The proposed change is to transfer midwife led birthing services from the Vale of Leven Community Maternity Unit to the Community Maternity Unit, Royal Alexandra Hospital, Paisley. Women will continue to have the option of having a home birth.

You can find out more about our proposal in our Information Leaflet.

The background to the proposal is also available in Board Paper 16/45 (overview and appendix).

Informing and Engaging process

The informing and engagement process began on 1 September 2016 and closed on Monday 5 December 2016. The engagement process was designed to provide people and communities who may be potentially affected the opportunity to:

  • Be informed of the proposal to transfer birthing services from the Vale of Leven Community Maternity Unit
  • Be provided with clear information which explains the reasons why we are proposing these changes and understand what it will mean for women who may be affected by them
  • Have their say about the proposal to transfer birthing services from the Vale of Leven Community Maternity Unit

As part of our engagement process, we formed a Stakeholder Reference Group to provide advice on how best to tell people about our proposal and how we find out what they think about it. 

During this process we have heard from eighty three people from across West Dunbartonshire about what they think about the proposal to transfer birthing services using a variety of engagement activities which were shaped by the Stakeholder Reference Group. 

The engagement activities included:

  • Five Drop in sessions at Vale of Leven Community Maternity Unit
  • Three outreach sessions at: Evening relaxation class run by Daisy Foundation, Dumbarton; Baby Sensory Class, Balloch; Breast Feeding Support Group run by West Dunbartonshire HSCP; Baby Yoga run by West Dunbartonshire Council at Dumbarton Library
  • A Public Event at Vale of Leven Hospital

All the feedback we have heard during the engagement process was collated and a report on the findings was provided to the Board of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde. This report was used to inform their decision on the proposed changes to birthing services at the Board Meeting on 20 December 2016. A copy of the full Board report including further information on the informing and engagement process can be found here.

Next Steps – Consultation

At the Board meeting on 20 December 2016, Board members voted to move to consultation on the proposed changes to birthing services in the Community Maternity Units at both Inverclyde Royal Hospital and Vale of Leven Hospital. The Board agreed that the consultation will be launched following the national NHS Scotland maternity strategy being published which is due in January 2017.

We will work with the Stakeholder Reference Group to develop our consultation materials and activities. We will widely publicise the launch of the consultation in due course. If you have any questions please contact Laura Nixon, Patient Experience Public Involvement Manager using the details below:

 Email: [email protected]

Telephone: 0141 201 0369/80369   Mobile: 07795 666592