Maternity Voices Partnership Frimley and Wexham

2020 an interesting year but together we achieved so much despite COVID!

An overdue update!

Despite these bizarre times we wanted to make sure that you were updated on how your voices as users of the local maternity services have continued to help shape services through these challenging times and to assure you that YOU MATTER.

These months have seen your MVP work harder than ever before and together with Frimley and Wexham Park Hospital local maternity services we have all strived to approach the situation proactively and innovatively. 
It is also recognised that there were times this year, particularly at the height of the pandemic, that the services may have been viewed as lacking but the whole world was learning how to navigate this unique and unknown virus with ultimately you, the user, in mind in a way that would keep you safe, healthy and the NHS operating their sterling services as much as they could despite all the challenges that they faced.

So, let’s take a look at what we’ve accomplished thus far, and remember we still have another month left!

Frimley and Wexham Park Hospital Maternity Website is one of our biggest achievements specifically designed with you in mind.  The MVP canvased for several months asking;

– What it is you needed from a dedicated maternity website
– What did you not want from the website

Of course like all websites they are ever-evolving, so if you have any great ideas, or perhaps you’d like to see more information on a certain topic please drop us a line and let us know

Maternity COVID Survey
At the height of the pandemic, the MVP was rapid to acknowledge that this situation the world found themselves in could have a negative impact on the experiences of birthing people. 
We found it vitally important to learn quickly from the situation with a view of collaborating alongside Frimley Trust to learn and react proactively in the event of subsequent waves.  A survey was designed and shared on many Facebook pages across the Trust and we received 886 responses.  Below you can see your results – 
MVP Covid survey_findings_October 2020

BAME (People who identify as Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) project 

Sadly research published last year showed that Black and Asian women were much more likely to have worse experiences of maternity care or even die during pregnancy and childbirth than white women.  Research produced during the COVID-19 outbreak has shown that pregnant women from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds have four times the chance of having severe symptoms of COVID-19 that require hospitalisation than white women.  Further research is ongoing to explain why this is the case so that the appropriate care can be provided.

The MVP was asked to help support this project by engaging with our communities across the Trust and ensure that all who identify as Black, Asian and an Ethnic Minority have up to date literature in English and the top six languages within the Trust, on how to keep safe and encourage speaking with your midwife, doctor or hospital if you feel unwell or have any concerns.  It was also recognised that translation services should be readily available.  

In the summer the MVP was invited to present at a regional webinar called the SOUTHEAST BAME COVID NHS ENGLAND & NHS IMPROVEMENT to talk about how the MVP is working with the lesser-heard voices to ensure that all birthing people would be listened to. 

Infant Feeding

Newborn feeding at the breast in colour

A fantastic collaboration with many people including the Infant Feeding Team and The Breastfeeding Network (BfN)
following a survey conducted by the MVP. 
You expressed a need for more support in the immediate days following your births.  Whilst this is a common theme, it was time to seek further funding which we were delighted to say your Local Maternity System was able to offer.
In recent months a new collaboration has started whereby all first-time breastfeeders should be offered a phone call from a BfN volunteer in the first week to give extra support, signposting and gentle encouragement or tips to establish their breastfeeding journey.  This is a vitally important time to have continuity as this is when most people may choose alternative feeding solutions due to difficulties in establishing breastfeeding.

Your feedback and how it works
Quarterly meetings with Heads of the Maternity Departments and senior staff are imperative and this ensures feedback is heard at the highest levels promptly and the MVP can give regular input to help shape and improve changes in service. The feedback that needs more immediate action is given to the Director of Midwifery at one of our regular meetings.

Frimley Park Maternity Walkthrough video
The amazing Frimley Park Hospital Maternity Walkthrough video – please note this was created pre-COVID-19 so there have been some changes within the hospital and staff do not appear with PPE.
This video was created by the MVP as for some time the hospitals have been unable to offer personal tours due to several reasons not least of all COVID.  We hope this tour provides you, the user/s a good idea on the feel and ambience at Frimley Park Hospital.

Social Media on Facebook
The hospital and MVP Maternity Facebook pages have proved an invaluable resource for many of you, particularly around the height of the pandemic.  These pages continue to share information that may be useful to you, please consider following the pages if you don’t already do so.
Some interesting statistics:
Frimley Maternity Facebook page   with over 10,000 followers
Wexham Maternity Facebook page with over 3,000 followers
Frimley and Wexham Maternity Voices page  growing with over 900 followers

On the above pages, you will see that the MVP facilitated several Q&A sessions with midwives and the infant feeding team as during COVID much of the face to face opportunities were not able to happen.  It was vital that you, the user, continued to feel well supported and informed given the challenges and often quick changes that needed to happen within maternity.

Solihull Parenting Approach
The above came to be as it was recognised through an MVP survey that you wanted and needed the option to have antenatal education provided by the Trust. 

The Solihull Approach has several courses available and best of all they are free.
Register for FREE online parenting courses
‘Understanding your child’ is an established and trusted way of understanding more about your child. ‘Understanding your child’ is for mums and dads and grandparents or anyone around your child. It was the first to receive the Government’s CANparent Quality Mark.
Parents have said often they feel calmer, more confident and have a better relationship with their child. The courses were developed in the NHS together with frontline practitioners from
all sectors and with parents.
The antenatal and postnatal course is for parents, grandparents and carers – for everyone in the new arrival’s life who wants to access an antenatal course and build a strong, healthy relationship with the baby. It integrates the traditional information given on an antenatal course with a new approach to starting your relationship with your baby before your baby even makes an appearance!
Keep an ear out for an advertising campaign that will be launched at the end of September on Eagle Radio and Facebook.

A year-long social media campaign called #ReadyforPregnancy

There is a clear link between a mother’s health before pregnancy, the risks she is exposed to or exposes herself to, and her baby’s health. We know that healthy women have fewer complications in pregnancy are more likely to have healthy babies who grow into healthy children. Partners also have a role to play by staying healthy. The MVP was invited to participate in this campaign to ensure that it met your needs.  #ReadyforPregnancy is to support you if you are thinking about pregnancy and looking for information about how to prepare and be in the best shape possible for your health and your baby’s health.  You can find more information here

The Lavender Homebirth Team (Frimley Park area)
Lavender Homebirth Team at Frimley Trust

Once again you showed that 8% of you replied in our survey that you would like to have more focus given to homebirth and partly in response to this and other projects, Frimley Trust has created the dedicated Lavender Homebirth Team for the Frimley area as homebirths were particularly low in this area.

The team went live on the 31st August 2020 and has already seen an increase in homebirths!

They are looking forward to working with you and nurturing with you your birth wishes.  

Please note that staff members may change, the leaflet is correct as of September 2020.