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Changes to Birthing Services in the Inverclyde Royal Hospital 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 Inverclyde Community Maternity Unit.

We are not proposing to close the Inverclyde 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 Inverclyde 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 Inverclyde 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 Inverclyde 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 a hundred and twenty nine people in Inverclyde 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:

  • Four Drop in sessions at Inverclyde Community Maternity Unit
  • Three outreach sessions at: Aqua natal class at Waterfront Greenock, Book Bug, Rainbow Family Centre, Port Glasgow; Happy Tots Inverclyde.
  • A Public Event at Inverclyde Royal 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 formal consultation on the proposed changes to birthing services in the Community Maternity Units at both Inverclyde Royal Hospital and Vale of Leven Hospital. This would be subject to the launch of the national Maternity and Neonatal Services Review. 

NHSGGC want to ensure that its local maternity plans are consistent with the national strategy. The national review was published in January 2017 and the Board’s Medical Director and Nurse Director are ensuring the Board’s proposals remain consistent with the review. A copy of the full report and recommendations can be found via the following link:

Recommendations on the next steps with regard to the consultation on the birthing units at Inverclyde and the Vale of Leven will be reported to the Board meeting on Tuesday 27 June 2017.

If you have any questions please contact Laura Nixon, Patient Experience Public Involvement Manager using the details below:


Telephone: 0141 201 0369