A week before the Corona virus starting keeping us all apart, we brought almost a hundred women and girls together! Each year we have a big celebration of our work, the women and girls who attend all of our projects come along, we invite funders and other professionals that we work alongside from across the city. It’s always an emotional, inspirational and fun event, and this year was no different.
On January 13th 2020 the Clinical Commission Group (CCG) launched its Maternity and Neonatal Public Consultation. The MVP parent representatives supported with engagement events across the city and promoted the survey to families. The survey is for gaining feedback on families general experience on maternity services, to get opinions on the proposals to centralise all maternity services to the LGI and also to consult on the way hospital antenatal appointments are provided. The aim of the consultation is to work out what future services should look like including a new midwifery led unit at LGI. You can complete the survey here until 5th April 2020.
The Maternity Voices Partnership (MVP) bring together parents with experience of maternity services with staff representatives at the Leeds Teaching Hospital NHS Trust. We regularly give feedback to help shape and co-design the maternity services offered to families in Leeds.
The MVP were part of Baby Week (2-9th November 2019). Over the past few months and within Baby Week our volunteers have been going into the maternity wards and talking to families to get feedback on their experiences of maternity services. Below is a picture of us with the Team Leader midwives after reporting back from a morning on the Antenatal ward at LGI. The response has been positive and a more thorough evaluation has been carried out following feedback from our maternity survey which can be found on our website; http://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/OKBAV/ .
Through this we created a ‘you said we did’ breakdown of different areas you thought needed improvement. For instance ‘you said’ you felt your partner/father needed to be included more in the pregnancy – we can report that all birth partners are now allowed to stay over in the antenatal ward. ‘You said’ you wanted information to be easier to understand – we can report that the Trust now have a nominated member of staff with ‘I’m here to listen’ as a point of reference for women and families to go for any issues or concerns in each area.
The formal MVP has provided space for professionals and service users to meet and discuss important engagement in how to support fathers and birth partners in their role for breastfeeding support. The Trust has employed two Infant Feeding Coordinators who provide support covering both sites to help support women with breastfeeding.
The MVP took part in the ALWAYS event run by the Trust and the Patient Experience Team and through an engagement exercise they provided two vision statements:
- I always expect to be offered the opportunity to have skin to skin contact with my baby for as long as I want
- I always expect to receive consistent information about skin to skin contact with my baby
We recently went to an exciting event in Manchester – the NHS EXPO. Our Lucy Potter, Chair of the Maternity Voices Partnership (MVP) went along to present with her colleagues and alongside Karen Poole and Annemarie Henshaw, on ‘How to succeed at system level planning’.
Lucy (on the left in the photo) was, as always, representing the voices of those people who access the Local Maternity System (LMS) in West Yorkshire and Harrogate. It was a chance to make clear how important the MVP is as a way of hearing from those who access maternity services in our area and how it helps improve maternity care for all. Lucy showed how the 7 MVPs have helped families not only have an input, but their experiences have helped shape the services and maternity experiences of women and other families in the region. Fantastic work Lucy!