Maternity Engagement

Maternity services provide a spectrum of primary and secondary care to pregnant women, their partners and their families from antenatal through to neonatal care, delivered both in community and hospital settings. Effective engagement with service users is an essential component of how these services are to be delivered.

Why do we need a national model for maternity engagement in Scotland?

Women’s perinatal experiences, both positive and negative, can affect their mental health and wellbeing. Long-term effects can often impact on other services such as general practice (GP) or community mental health services beyond scope of their engagement with maternity services.

An effective model for engaging maternity and neonatal service users has potential to empower parents to informally seek and receive support and to feel heard, and to mitigate against long-term impacts on maternity, GP, mental health or other services.

Scoping Options

In the spring of 2021, the Scottish Government commissioned the National Maternity Network to scope possible approaches for a national forum through which to engage with pregnant women and facilitate peer support. This work follows recommendations of a HIS Report (Oct 2020) on engagement with the maternity community.

The report of options and recommendations was completed in September 2021 and we are working closely with the Scottish Government and other strategic partners to explore exactly what a Scottish model for engagement should look like, and how we can ask women what they want and need from it.

The work is at early stages, but watch this space! In the meantime, here is the options appraisal.


2021-09-10 Maternity Voices Scotland Options Appraisal