The Dorset Local Maternity System (LMS) supported Healthwatch Dorset’s independent investigation on maternity services.

The findings will supplement the comprehensive engagement work being carried out for the Better Births Early Adopter Programme.

However, while we agree in principle with the key themes raised in the report, we feel that it doesn’t fully reflect the amount of engagement work that has taken place throughout the project, which has been running since February 2017, and that the report is, in some parts, misleading.

Our comments have been published in a full response which can be read here, and we would like to thank Healthwatch for the opportunity to respond.

We want to ensure that the views of women, partners and families informs the delivery of all projects to achieve transformation of Dorset’s maternity services, and we value the feedback of the 110 women and families that have taken part in the engagement with Healthwatch. This will contribute to the 600+ already involved in the Better Births programme through view-seeking surveys, ‘Whose Shoes’ view seeking workshops and subsequent redesign events, and Maternity Voices representatives who have reached out to local communities and diverse groups.

We would also like to take this opportunity to recognise the hard work and dedication of those working within and involved with Dorset’s maternity services.

The Dorset LMS is a partnership of local patient representative leads, health and care providers and NHS Dorset CCG, which supports the collective delivery of the transformation of maternity services called for within Better Births. Our full response to the report can be read here. We invite any respondents who wish to be informed and involved with the Better Births programme to contact us at