Update from the Maternity Voices Partnership

We’ve had a busy time over the last 3 months at the Maternity Voices Partnership (MVP).

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.

Engagement Lead Caroline Mackay said ‘Thank you for everyone’s commitment to the engagement and dedication to making service in Leeds the best they can be’.  This picture was taken at the final event with Julian Hartley; Chief Executive of Leeds Teaching Hospitals.

In January MVP promoted and attended the ‘Whose Shoes’ workshop with Sally Goodwin Mills at Public Health as they delivered a fantastic infant feeding workshop.  The morning saw a mix of professionals and parents taking part in this fun board game which is designed to help professionals and service users listen to each other by answering different scenarios about support around different topics, this one was infant feeding.  It was really helpful for putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and sharing your own experiences at the same time. As the event finished, we all pledged to help make information on breast feeding support accessible and consistent.  Sally is a regular attendee at our MVP formal meetings, and updates us on developments in this area, especially around breast feeding support information on postnatal wards.

We have also been supporting the NEST ambassadors around perinatal mental health, especially for dads and co-parents.  We’ve been successful in completing 9 face to face surveys, including at the Preparation Birth and Beyond antenatal course which take place in the community.  This was a good chance to also get dads views on the support they receive for their own mental health, as well as supporting their partner.

The Trust is soon to be going digital, so all your hand held notes are getting changed to Maternity Online Notes. The digital online survey about this is currently underway, we at the MVP felt it was also important to get face to face feedback to find out how many women use their notes.  We spoke to women in the community and out of 48 women this was the response:

How often do you check your notes?
After your scan and hospital appointment 27%
Before or after each appointment 38%
Every Day 2%
Never 23%
Once a Month 2%
Once a Week 8%

Any Parenting Apps
Yes 65%
No 35%

Under 20 4%
21-30 40%
31-40 50%
Over 40 6%

Do you prefer Paper/Electronic/both
Paper 44%
Electronic 27%
Both 25%

In other news, after three years of being chair for the MVP, our wonderful Lucy Potter has handed over the reins of the chair duties of the MVP to Aneira, another member of the WHM team.  Lucy helped transition the (old) Maternity Service Liaison Committee (MSLC) to the new MVP in March 2018.  Lucy also worked with midwives to set up ‘Walking the Patch’, where each month a small team of parent representatives visit women and families at both hospital sites, and then feed back any issues the families may have to the team leader meeting.  During a recent Walking the Patch session we spoke to 10 families on the postnatal ward at St. James’s.  Most were very happy with their continuity of care when having an elective C-section.  This is a service previously operated from a smaller space, but it’s now in a welcoming, spacious environment.  This development has been led by Maternity Support Workers Margaret Bingham and Deborah Hampson with the goal of providing a comfortable area and the opportunity for families to meet each other before, during and after their operation.  After the feedback from the team leaders Lucy received a lovely bunch of flowers from all of the midwives to say goodbye and cake was served up.

Lucy wishes Aneira every success in being chair for the MVP and would like to thank all the parent reps who have supported the MVP over the years. Here at WHM, we’d like to thank Lucy for her dedication and passion for this project, you’ve made a huge difference to families in the city!

From left to right: Claire and Melissa Licence, Nicky Collins, Julia Kitching, Lucy Potter Sarah Joyce and Aneira Thomas.