Friday, 22 March 2013

An update from Lewisham's maternity services committee

An upside to the otherwise irredeemably awful news that Jeremy Hunt, Health Secretary, has taken the axe to obstetric-led maternity services at Lewisham Hospital is that we have a really vibrant and enthusiastic committee at the moment. Five new mums have joined us and we have a record number of volunteers for our outreach programme called Walk the Patch.

This is one of the most important things we do as mums on the committee. Every month a volunteer visits the antenatal and postnatal wards to gather feedback from women who are currently using the service. This gives us a chance to understand the issues that women experience which in turn informs our agenda. It also allows us to meet and get to know the midwives so that we have a really strong working relationship at all levels in the hospital.

At our last meeting the staff from the hospital updated us on the refurbishment of the Labour ward which is taking place at the moment and is scheduled for completion by the end of May. The new Labour ward will replicate the very popular birth centre where possible so that women will be given the same attractive and high-quality environment in which to give birth. There will now be two rooms for low-risk women to use who aren't able to use the birth centre due to medical considerations that mean that they do not fit the criteria to use the midwife-led unit but are not considered too 'high-risk'. The mums of the MSLC have a date to visit the Labour ward to give advice about how to make the rooms attractive and comfortable.

This work is a commitment from the hospital to the women and families of Lewisham that the hospital is open for business as usual. The hospital has launched the Open for Business campaign to reassure the people of Lewisham that the hospital's services will continue to improve and serve maternity users and patients for the next three years and beyond.

Claire Champion, Director of Nursing, speaks about the upgrading of maternity services at Lewisham Hospital Lewisham Hospital Builds Trust

The MSLC has a diverse membership including a representative from the Lewisham refugee and migrant network. Many of the women in this group are living on roughly £30 a week to support them and their children which clearly means that some of the basics we take for granted are a serious struggle to buy. So, if you have any leftover nappies that your baby has grown out of or a cot that you don't want any more....anything at all really as long as it's in good condition and clean, please can you donate it to this marvellous centre who will pass it on to one of their families. The address is 144 Evelyn Street, Deptford, SE8 5DD. 020 8694 0323. The contact name is Margot Lawrence. If you are interested in finding out more about the group you can visit their website Lewisham Refugee and Migrant Network or you can find them on facebook.

To keep up with news and information please join Lewisham MSLC on facebook.

 If you are interested in joining the MSLC please contact Jessica Ormerod.

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