Redesigning Maternity Services in Bedfordshire
Bedfordshire CCG is committed to implementing the national ‘Better Births’ programme to improve maternity services in our area, so that parents and babies receive the best possible maternity services.
Developing a Co-Production Steering Group
As part of the BLMK Local Maternity System (LMS) we were tasked with forming a Co-Production Steering Group made up of public representatives, Maternity Voice Partnerships (MVPS), clinicians, childbirth groups, mental health groups, hospitals, disability groups, and Healthwatch from across Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes.
Maternity – The Big Question
One of the first pieces of work to come from the Local Maternity System was the survey ‘Maternity – The Big Question’ where we asked women about their experiences. The survey was co-produced and designed by members of the LMS.
Promoting the survey
The survey was promoted extensively to attract responses from women and their partners from all over Bedfordshire who had used local maternity services in the last five years. Press releases were distributed to local media outlets and posted on our website and social media channels. We emailed key stakeholders, voluntary organisation and groups asking that they share our posts via their networks. Posters and flyers (including a poster in Urdu) were produced and distributed to GP surgeries hospitals, pharmacies, family and community centres, nurseries etc.
Short films promoting the survey were shot publicising the survey, including one in Urdu and one featuring British Sign Language (BSL). We also held a series of qualitative sessions with members from some of our seldom heard communities to listen to their views on their experiences of pregnancy, labour and delivery, and antenatal care.
The engagement work was heralded as exemplar by NHS England. The findings of the survey can be found here these will be used to provide a benchmark, and help us to deliver an action plan for improvement which we can monitor as the Local Maternity System plan is delivered.
Developing the skills of the Co-Production Steering Group
To ensure that members of the co-production steering group work together effectively together to help redesign local maternity services, we arranged for the Consultation Institute to deliver a tailored one-day training session on co-production. The training supported the group to really understand what their role was and how everyone should be working together to co-design services.
Following the training we had some very positive feedback, with members saying that they valued the input from the Consultation Institute and saw the training as confirmation that the LMS Programme team were serious about putting women and their families at the heart of the redesign programme. The session was well attended and provided excellent guidance which was reflected in the quality of the consultation.
As part of this programme we are rolling-out a series of Road Shows to promote the Better Births programme to midwives and other service providers, as well as women and their partners. All those who have an interest in local maternity services are still being encouraged to get involved and another video highlighting this message is now available at https://www.blmkstp.co.uk/maternity-services-in-blmk/.
Maternity Voice Partnerships (MVPs)
MVPs are run exclusively by volunteers and attended by women who use maternity services, community and hospital based midwives, obstetricians and commissioners.
The MVPs ensure that the voices and experiences of women are listened to and used to affect change.
If you would like to join the Bedford Maternity Voice Partnership please email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact them via their Facebook page @bedfordmvp.