Birth Voices East Blog
Updates on what we're doing and how your feedback is making a difference
I'm Jodie, the Chair of Birth Voices East 'Maternity Services Liaison Committee'. I joined the group as a result of my own personal experiences following my second pregnancy.
When I had my first baby I was fortunate to have a very straightforward pregnancy and delivery, sadly, second time round this wasn't to be the case. Whilst pregnant with my second child, I experienced some unexpected complications that led to a difficult and traumatic delivery. Nothing like I'd hoped for.
These types of experiences do happen, they're not talked about enough and often things can be learned from them.
I soon realised, after a debrief with a senior Midwife, that I could use my experiences to help ensure that other families didn't go through what we had. I was introduced to the MSLC and this was the best thing for me, I could be proactive and support the people that design the services to better understand what local families actually want.
Together with a dedicated group of volunteer mums, the Vice Chair and myself meet regularly with Senior Midwifery staff, Health Visiting Leaders, local Council Public Health, Healthwatch and the CCG (people that fund the services we receive), to pass on feedback and offer our suggestions on their propositions.
Us mums have a unique ability to connect with other new mums and their families to understand what is really important to them. Using the feedback we get, we look for common themes and then support the professionals to understand what women and their families want. Themes we are working on at the moment include: postnatal care on Ward 11; partners staying overnight, and maternal mental health.
So... where is the opportunity I hear you say??
I'm very happy to share I'm now expecting my third baby and therefore we are looking for a new Chair! The position is hugely rewarding as I really feel I can make a difference to other mums. I manage this around two children and working 25hrs+ a week - it is flexible, and myself and the other mums make it work around us.
If you would like to get involved, it doesn't have to be as a result of a difficult experience, (that just happens to be what prompted my involvement), and you would get lots of support.
We have an excellent relationship with the professionals who come along to our meetings, they understand that we are busy mums and are always grateful of our time and input. Please have a look at our below advert.
Watch our page as I will be adding an informal style recruitment event where anyone interested in any type of involvement- from just a bit nosey and want to know what we're about, to interested in the Chair role, can come along and meet some of us mums that are involved in the MSLC.
Here is the full advert-
Vacancy for a Volunteer Chairperson
Maternity Services Liaison Committee ("MSLC")
Are you interested in improving and developing maternity services for local women and their families?
Birth Voices East, the 'MSLC' for Great Yarmouth and Waveney, are looking for a new Chairperson and would love to hear from you. This is an excellent and unique opportunity to play an active role in ensuring local maternity services meet the needs of your community.
The MSLC: We meet quarterly in a child friendly location, for example local Children's Centres. We are a dedicated committee made up of local user representatives (mums who have used the services recently) and health professionals, advising and working with the senior maternity staff from the James Paget Hospital and the Great Yarmouth and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) on the care provided to women, their partners and their babies during pregnancy, birth and in the weeks after the baby’s arrival.
You would be part of a nationwide network of MSLCs (about to be rebranded as Maternity Voices Partnership) who share ideas, network and support.
Our role is to help improve services by making sure the views and experiences of people who use the James Paget's maternity services are listened to and taken account of.
You can read more on our website: www.birthvoiceseast.co.uk
The Chair: Should be independent from those commissioning or providing services; ideally someone from the local community who has used the services within the last two years or has close links with those using the services, i.e. a ‘user representative’. Responsibilities include developing the direction of the MSLC’s work in consultation with MSLC members.
He/she will need to attend and lead MSLC meetings (but will get lots of support to do this if needed), setting the agenda in accordance with the annual programme and, where appropriate, ensuring decisions of the committee are followed up.
This is a voluntary role with expenses paid. In addition, the budget last year allowed for a £500 honararium.
You would initially be working alongside the Vice Chair - however that role is also up for renewal shortly so this may be an opportunity for two people who know each other to apply together.
If you would like to apply or find out more about this position, or any other involvement in the committee, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org, including your name and contact number. Please also include a brief description of what interested you about the role. This will be forwarded to Jayne Utting, the Head of Midwifery at James Paget who will be involved in the recruitment of a new chairperson. Gemma (vice chair) and myself are happy to answer any questions you might have about the two leadership roles - and would love more people to get involved as user reps too!
Applications should be received no later than 5pm on 14/08/17
Thank you - we look forward to hearing from you!