Birth Voices East Blog
Updates on what we're doing and how your feedback is making a difference
Hi everyone, sorry we've been so quiet recently - not enough hours in the day (or volunteers)!
Firstly, I would like to thank Jodie, who resigned as chair last meeting to focus on her growing bump and family, for all the great work she has done to make sure local women and families have a say in improving maternity care locally. She has really made a difference, especially on breastfeeding issues, and she also organised a feedback event with translation to make sure women with limited English can still have a say on their maternity care. Jodie plans to remain an active member despite no longer being our chairperson though so I'm sure we haven't heard the last of her :)
On the upside, after a major recruitment drive, I am pleased to announced we will be welcoming a new chair, Katherine, at our next meeting on December 6th! We were also delighted to welcome four new ladies in September, who all gave really useful feedback to us and senior maternity staff.
The next meeting is at Kirkley Childrens Centre, Wednesday 6th December at 12.30-2.30 and we would love to see some more new faces, either if you're interested in getting involved or just want to find out more or pass on some constructive feedback. It's pretty informal, and I hope welcoming - the babies/toddlers play in the middle of the room and we sit round with tea and cake trying to hold an adult conversation :) Our focus topic for the next few months is postnatal care of mum and baby after leaving hospital, so we are particularly interested in hearing about your experiences of health visiting services, and maternal mental healthcare (such as postnatal depression).
I'll be personally testing out the Central Delivery Suite and Ward 11 maternity care myself in Jan or Feb, to make sure the thousands of comments and suggestions (both positive and negative) that we have passed on since 2015 have been listened to :) Honestly, the lengths I go to in this role!
We are keeping our 'Birth Voices East' name, but we are re-branding to a 'Maternity Voices Partnership' (MVP) in line with all our sister groups across the UK, from the previous mouthful of 'Maternity Services Liaison Committee'. Much easier to say! It doesn't change what we do though. The name change is part of a nationwide NHS effort to increase the role of service-user feedback in shaping maternity care. We work closely with our neighbours from Norfolk & Norwich, and West Suffolk, as well further afield, to share ideas on how to make a difference. To find out more about MVPs, see nationalmaternityvoices.org.uk.
As always, do get in touch if you have any questions or suggestions, and don't forget to fill out our maternity care survey if you have recently had a baby or are undergoing maternity care!
All the best,
Gemma (vice chair)