Mums and families at the heart of everything we do.

Maternity Matters at Morecambe Bay

The ‘Maternity Matters in Morecambe Bay’ event in Kendal at the end of May saw members of the public speaking to UHMBT staff and partner health organisations about their experiences of local maternity services, and how they want to be involved in the future of the service.
 
‘Conversation cafes’ where held where those that attended gave their honest and open views and opinions on their experiences and what they would like to see changed or done differently in the future.
 
Some families were filmed sharing their experiences, which is available to watch below:

The feedback, which is now being reviewed to make further improvements from the event was gathered in various different ways from notes written on table cloths and feedback forms, to a ‘Wall of Conversation’ that was produced by a graphic illustrator as people were talking.
 
Themes that were identified on the day included:

  • Continuity of care
  • Advice on alternative therapies
  • Flexibility of appointments
  • Length of time to be discharged home
  • Active roles for partners
  • Travel and transfer to other units
  • Clear and empathetic communication needed
  • Time to debrief after birth
  • Planning and support for birth and postnatal period
  • Informed choices

Sue Smith, Executive Chief Nurse, UHMBT, said “Our Maternity Matters events have been so valuable to us – not only in terms of giving us the opportunity to hear directly from women and families about their experiences of our maternity services, but also allowing us to really listen to their ideas and suggestions on what we can do to make things even better for local communities.
 
“We have made lots of improvements in our maternity services over the last two years or so but we are always looking for new ideas on how we can change even further to give local women and families the services they want and deserve.
 
“On behalf of the Trust, I’d like to sincerely thank every single person who took the time to come along to all of the events so far to have their say. We are committed to making our maternity services the best they can be and you have all played a really important role in helping us achieve that.”
 
The work the team has done to engage with the local communities in Barrow, Lancaster and Kendal has recently been shortlisted in the Healthcare Campaign category at this year’s Chartered Institute of Public Relations’ PRide Awards. The team will find out whether they have won the award at a ceremony in early November 2016.
 
Sascha Wells, Director of Midwifery, Gynaecology and Obstetrics, UHMBT, said: “The most beneficial thing for me that we take from this event is honest and open personal stories from women and families about what went well and what things we could do better. There are lots of things that we are working on to improve our services but it is really important that we make sure they match what local people are asking for.
 
“They also give us the opportunity to bounce ideas off local women and empower them to make the changes they want to see. A good example of this is the ‘Always Events’ project that we recently launched at Furness General Hospital (FGH). We are piloting this project for NHS England and its purpose is to identify what women want to always happen during their birth experience. We spoke to local women and they told us what they wanted was the option for their partner to stay with them for a full 24 hours after they give birth. We’ve been running this at FGH since April now and it has been very successful.
 
“This isn’t the end for events like this. The value of doing them is so phenomenal that we would be foolish to not hold any more. We are currently planning further events in Barrow, Lancaster and Kendal, and will share information about them as soon as it becomes available.”

Maternity Matter Event, Lancaster. January 2016

The Storey Building in Lancaster was the venue for our Maternity Matters event in Lancaster in January 2016.

event1.jpg

Following the successful event in Barrow this presented another opportunity for local people to talk to us about Maternity Services and Healthwatch Cumbria http://healthwatchcumbria.co.uk/ LINK

together with colleagues from Healthwatch Lancashire http://healthwatchlancashire.co.uk and Representatives from the Trust maternity services were present.

Sacha Wells, Deputy Director and Head of Midwifery said: ‘It is vital to us that we continue to talk to local people about not only why maternity services are important to them but also understand what they think ‘good’ looks like and how they want their maternity services to look and feel going forward’

Oliver from Healthwatch Cumbria spoke with many mothers who had attended with their babies and observed: ‘In addition to mothers from the Lancaster area there were many from the Kendal/South Lakeland area which was really good to see.
 
Discussions covered the care and support during pregnancy, birth and post-natal care and there was a real enthusiasm from mothers to share their experiences and views about this important time in their lives’.
 

Maternity Matter Event, Barrow September 2015

Local people used their voices to speak up about why maternity matters to them and what they want to see from the teams working in hospitals, at a recent event hosted by University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT).
 
The Maternity Matters in Morecambe Bay event on 25 September in Barrow, saw around 60 members of the public attending to speak to UHMBT staff and partner health organisations about their experiences of local maternity services, and how they want to work with the Trust, and be involved in the future of the service.
 

event2.jpg     event3.jpg     event4.jpg


‘Conversation cafes’ where held where those that attended gave their honest and open views and opinions on their experiences and what they would like to see changed or done differently in the future.
 
The feedback, which is now being reviewed to make further improvements from the event was gathered in various different ways from notes written on table cloths and feedback forms, to a ‘Wall of Conversation’ that was produced by a graphic illustrator as people were talking.
 
This can be viewed on our website - http://www.freshthinking.uhmb.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/A3-full-art-work.pdf
 
Themes that were identified on the day included:

  • Improving mental health support for mums
  • Better bereavement support for families
  • Involving dads more in the whole pregnancy and birth experience
  • Working closer with families to help them understand their choices so they can make an informed decision
  • Improving communications and joint working between health professionals
  • Ensuring the Trust is always honest and listens to families
  • Increasing public confidence in the hospital, so the public can be sure of the high standards of care and knowledgeable, support staff
  • Making sure staff spend time with families, support them properly and build trusting relationships
  • Improving the information given to women and families

Sue Smith, Executive Chief Nurse, UHMBT, said “This event was a real first for us as a Trust in terms of our maternity services, as it was the first time we have truly opened our doors and invited the public in to tell us what they think and what they want to see in the future.
 
“We are really pleased that so many mums, dads, families and friends, took the time to come and talk to us and have their say. Not only did they let us know that we were on the right track with some of the work we are doing by telling us that it was important to them too, they also gave us some real food for thought on other areas where we can make our services even better for local women and families.”
 
Members of the public who attended the event were also given an exclusive look at how the new Women and Children’s Unit at Furness General Hospital might look in the future, and asked for their thoughts on the design and also, any suggestions about what would be important to them if they were to use the new unit. The Trust’s Estates team is now considering this feedback, and the feedback from staff, to inform their final plans.
 
A special short video of the event has been produced which includes comments from UHMBT staff and members of the public who attended. The video includes first hand experiences from members of the public, including Adam from Kendal who sadly lost a child in 2013 and has since had another baby; and Cathy from Barrow who had mixed experiences when she had both of her children.

Sascha Wells, Deputy Director and Head of Midwifery, UHMBT, said: “As a Trust, we will never get to the point where we don’t listen again, and this event isn’t the end of us inviting the public in and asking for their opinions. We will be holding similar events in the Lancaster and Kendal areas so local women and families who use our maternity services in those areas can get involved too.
 
“If you weren’t able to attend the event in Barrow but still want to have your say on why maternity matters to you and what you want to see in the future, there are other ways that you can get involved, such as simply sharing your story, joining our patient experience and environment inspections, helping to write job descriptions for new staff, and even sitting on interview panels.”

If anyone is interested in getting involved in Maternity Services at the Trust, they can contact Nicola Bottomley on nicola.bottomley@mbht.nhs.uk or 01539 715342.

At Morecambe Bay Hospitals we will provide, compassionate, high quality, evidence-based and safe maternity services that meet the needs and wishes of all women and their families.

Mums and families at the
heart of everything we do.

Contact us

Maternity Services at Furness General Hospital
01229 491 035

Maternity Services at Royal Lancaster Infirmary
01524 583 850

Helme Chase, our midwife-led Maternity Services
at Westmorland General Hospital

01539 795375