Getting involved – Broodsheet Newsletter Spring 2010
I had my daughter Lucy in July 2007, let’s just say the birth didn’t go anywhere near to what I had planned (a calm home birth ideally in the pool, ha!) there was meconium in my waters which meant going to hospital and a 24 hour stay after my daughter arrived. I had a very mixed experience during this labour between staff being helpful and supportive and some being rude, borderline aggressive and giving incorrect advice. Once I had recovered and settled into family life with my daughter I spoke to a few women who had also had a bad experience at Lewisham. Health visitors and midwifes I came into contact with also seemed to be aware that many women had negative things to say… A couple of people had mentioned there was a committee set up to look to improve Lewisham’s maternity services that was looking for ‘service users’ to be involved. Then at a NCT meeting volunteers where asked for to attend this meeting… I volunteered.
I have been attending the meetings of Lewisham’s Maternity Services Liaison Committee (MSLC) for a year or so now. The committee involves the primary care trust, Lewisham hospital midwifery, community midwifery and the local authority children’s services commissioning team among others. There are a lot of professionals round the table with the power to make change happen along with women who have experienced the services offered by Lewisham the committees aims are to:
•Ensure the information available to women is in a clear format and easily accessible
•To ensure feedback is collected and reviewed effectively and used to inform the development of services and changes in practice
•To inform the planning and purchasing of maternity and related services
•To support the work of Lewisham hospital and the councils to achieve UNICEF baby friendly status.
During the time I have been on the MSLC I have seen the feedback left by women using the maternity services improve dramatically, everyone involved in the MSLC is committed to improving and listening to those using the service… Look for your feedback cards and complete them. We do look at them and use the information given to review and change services.
I have just had my second baby a boy Alexander…at Lewisham hospital (I guess I am just not destined for a home birth) and I can say it was wholly positive experience. I am also the new chair of the MSLC. So if you want to know more about our work or get involved you can email me.