In 2018, St George’s hospital in south London delivered the ‘New Beginnings’ project, having been awarded funding from the Health Innovation Network (HIN) the previous year. The hospital staff there wanted to create a kinder experience for mothers in the maternity department. The project brought together mothers and staff to make positive changes to the experience of having a baby in an operating theatre. The HIN recognised this kindness and wanted to support and help deliver this new approach.


The group spent a year identifying what matters to mothers preparing for birth in theatre, identifying where there were gaps in information and how to make mothers feel more involved. In early 2019, the project began supporting staff to make changes to the way they delivered care.

This project is:

  • Making permanent changes to the way in which mothers and staff work together
  • Make the operating theatre a kinder, friendlier and more caring place to have a baby
  • Bringing families into the heart of maternity care at St George’s.

“I was happy being taken care of by Dr Robson as he kept reassuring me and providing me with all the information throughout the process. We came around after the process to ensure that I was well and there were no complications during recovery.”

Mother at St George’s, March 2019

Co-design areas include ‘Personalising the theatre process’ and ‘Improving Antenatal Information about operative birth’.

This project was funded by a HIN Innovation Award and the Patient Experience Team at the HIN gave the project additional support through our expertise on Experience-Based Co-Design, the improvement methodology that was used for the project. For more information about the Innovation Awards visit

To find out more about the New Beginnings project email: