Sunday, 20 June 2010

15 June 2010 - an evening meeting

Our first evening meeting allowing saw two new service user reps attend and a GP for the first time. Think we will look to mixing up the meeting times next year in the hope it proves as successful.

I still haven't figured out how to attach minutes and agenda's but will do my best in the blog to give a picture of key actions and progress from the meetings and give you opportunities to comment or get involved.

So big news is of course that the new birthing centre is now OPEN and has had 51 births to date they have 60 births booked in and are averaging 2-3 births a day and have had 7 transfers up to the labour ward.

Service user feedback from the little green cards given out on discharge and in all the waiting rooms from April show an increase in positive feedback... most unhappiness is generally about staff attitude rather than clinical care. However all the 'service users' (mums) at the meeting said the forms need to be singled out as only one of us had recently seen one and completed it and that was because she knew to look for it... As I left the meeting which was held in women's health at the hospital I located the green cards on the far wall of the waiting room and put some on all the tables and handed them to couple's waiting. One of our first time attendees also gave some really useful feedback on the waiting room for labour ward a few simple things to make spending any time there easier for pregnant women waiting. Like water, something nice to look at and some regular communication about when they will be seen and how long the wait could be... Oh yes and some feedback comment cards.

Engagement - Yes we will do something for Lewisham People's day, promote the birth unit, promote direct access service , promote the MSLC and promote feedback.

The MSLC will arrange a facilitated forum in October 2010 to enable women and possibly dads who wouldn't traditionally get involved in meetings. We may use people's day to get a steer on where to focus.

I reported on starting this blog and a facebook group which is gaining numbers and includes some Lewisham midwives and hopefully will become another way for us to help involve peeps and improve Lewisham' maternity services.

We have also fixed the date for all of us to have training from the NCT to help us get the best out of our committee and working together.

The other biggeee is we discussed the idea of merging the maternity matters steering group with the MSLC to reduce duplication and it will lead to increased involvement of service users in commissioning decisions for maternity services in the future. It is still early days and would need sign off from the PCT board. But could be a very interesting if challenging development for the MSLC. So watch this space..

Other news is there is a new womens mental health worker based at Lewisham (can't remember the correct title) and women on mat ward 5 and being seen at the perineal clinic can now self refer to physiotherapy.

Think that's it well its 10:45 on a Sunday evening and I am beat after a long weekend with alone with the two tiddliwinks.

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Breastfeeding (boobies)

As a sub-group of the MSLC is the Lewisham Breast Feeding group... I thought as chair of the MSLC I should check out one of their meetings... So this sunny Wednesday I strolled (sorry walked briskly) through Mountsfield and Ladywell Park to accompanied by Alex and birds twittering. My destination Ladywell Children's Centre a hidden gem let me tell you... What a lovely space but I wonder if anyone knows its there.. so well hidden?

The meeting is a much smaller group of peeps all working in Lewisham to promote, enable and support breastfeeding and birth and continued beyond 6-8 weeks. It was lovely to see Hazel who gave the breastfeeding talk during my antenatal classes and who I turned to for support when my first was four months old and Gill who is supporting mothers on the ward and training Lewisham's midwives. UHL and Lewisham PCT is working towards achieving Unicef breastfeeding status, busily training midwives, maternity support workers and health visitors, developing policies and practice that will take us forward in achieving the goal..... One thing I learnt from this meeting is that UHL and community health services are merging into one trust. Which means I think that Health visitors and midwives will be working for one organisation which should help provide a 'seamless service'....Well that's the hope!

However, health visitors in lewisham are down to 50% staffing capacity at the moment making everything a challenge for the team. The uncertainity over furture government funding for Children's Centres is also inhibiting ability to make too many decisions at the moment.

Other news is that Lewisham hospital will soon be offering a tongue tie clinic on the 3rd Weds of the month.

Overall a useful and interesting meeting .... especially learning that Lewisham has fairly high breastfeeding rates but supporting women to exclusively breastfeed to 6 months and beyond is an ongoing challenge. The first 6-8 weeks of breastfeeding for a mother is the crucial and often toughest time for women and this is where support is and should be targeted. For more information on Lewisham's support for breastfeeding take a look here.