Thursday, 1 September 2011

HOT HOT HOT...NOT! Overview of August's MSLC meeting 2011

Well August hasn't provided the summer we were all hoping for but never the less August's MSLC meeting was a really productive event and well attended. I like the mixing up of the meetings through the year of the times and venues as it allows for a greater variety of representation at the meetings.

Since my last post, In my role as chair I have achieved;contributed to the draft annual report for the MSLC for 2011 (due to be finalised shortly)
revised and finalised the Terms of Reference for the Committee
produced a new leaflet setting out what the MSLC in Lewsisham does and doesn't do
Set up a new Facebook Group to be found here:!/groups/LewishamMSLC/ become a friend
Met with the interim head of midwifery and matron for Mat ward 5 at UHL.
More on all of these in my update:

Key actions or points from the meeting include:
Update from Lewisham hospital: The matron for Mat ward 5 has been appointed and started in Post - Welcome Sue Chatterley. Carmen Cross is currently acting as the interim Head of Maternity Services whilst Pauline Esson is heading up the project of midwifery normalcy services on labour ward. Lynn Bayes is acting up as head of community midwifery and the birthing centre whilst Shirley Peterson is on Maternity Leave. The hospital has been unable to appoint to the post of matron for the labour ward as yet so this post is still vacant. I think this little para on all the staff changes shows there has been a lot of movements and is still some uncertainity at senior levels in the service in spite of which some key steps have been taken to make some major changes in the way services are provided on mat ward 5.

Sue and Carmen have undertaken a complete review of mat ward 5 including, environmental health, risk, equipement, staffing, procedures, everything really.. and developed an action plan with the support of the hospital's chief executive. I have not seen the report nor has the rest of the committee or the action plan... but can only think this is a positive thing for the staff, women and babies who spend any time on the ward. Sue and Carmen have asked us (the committee) to help with fundraising or seeking donations to make the space on mat 5 more homely and less institutionalised... Ideas welcome? I think this will form some of our meeting time in October.

The patient held records: Lewisham has changed the notes format they have been using for the records for an individuals maternity journey, there are a few criticisms from midwives and women alike about the format and usability of the booklet and Lewisham will be reviewing them, the MSLC service users are keen to support and contribute to the process.

Walking the patch - It has been reported that the walking the patchers have noticed a huge improvement in the reports of staff attitudes on mat 5 generally, along with improvements in the dispensing of pain relief. There was one complicated case that has been reported to the MSLC and will be dealt with as a serious incident by the hospital which means the hospital will do an investigation of procedures to examine what went wrong and prevent in future. The family have been advised to make a formal complaint through PALS aswell to ensure their concerns are addressed. Walking the patchers are collating their feedback and sharing with head of midwifery, the matron, public health and chair of MSLC in order to ensure necessary actions are followed up. This supports a verbal report given on the Ward at the time, and is proving very successful in ensuring actions are addressed.

Walking the patch volunteers will in future be able to use language line in order to conduct interviews with women with little or no English. YAY........

At the committee meeting we had a visitor from King's MSLC who is looking to set up walking the patch at King's... hopefully she got everything she needs to get started. Keep us posted on how it goes.

Direct Access to Midwifery - Remember women in lewisham do not need to access midwifery services through their GP and can contact the midwifery team directly to be booked in for services. There are some procedural issues where there are cases of GP's not always being informed about test results etc. One of the benefits of rotating meeting times a GP was able to attend this meeting and then liase directly with the head of community midwifery to look at resolving issues.

GP Commissioning - Pauline Cross consultant midwife public health is working with the Lewisham's GP commssioning consortia on advising them regarding maternity services.

Engagement - So the MSLC has a had it's usual turnover of service user reps moving on to other things so if you are a mum or dad with recentish experience of Lewisham's maternity services and have some spare time and want to make a positive difference for future families why don't you get in touch and come to a meeting?

Seldom Heard Groups -
We have held a focus group early in the summer with young mums a feedback report will be posted shortly and we are planning a session in October with refugee women.

Health Visitor Implementation Programme - Lewisham is currently preparing its plans in response to the Governments call for action on increasing health visitor support. More on this in the future.

Well I think that's it for now.... comments welcome as always.