Drop-in to the Maternity Review and be part of the change

I want to use this blog to tell you about our thought provoking drop-in events we’re holding around the country.

You may have seen me talking about these events on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme recently – you can still view the clip if you haven’t already seen it.

We’re hosting events all over England for mums, dads, families and anyone with an interest in maternity services who want to talk to us about their experiences. We’ve held three so far and they have been a great success.

At each event I’ve spoken to people who wanted to praise their midwives, doctors and nurses who cared for them, as well as people who’ve had traumatic experiences and want things to change. The events are a good opportunity for healthcare professionals, commissioners and charities to come and feed into the Review as well.

The Maternity Review team is there to answer your questions and to have conversations about your experiences of maternity services. We want to do everything we can to make sure that you feel comfortable and able to share as much as possible.

If you would like to have a sensitive conversation, we can use a private room for an in-depth discussion. If you’d rather tell the world about your experience or your ideas, you can write them down on our experience wall – we’ve filled three walls already with inspiring notes from the people of the North West and Birmingham.

All of our events have a film playing about the Review, a post-box for written feedback that we’ll look at carefully for our report, and a voting station for you to have your say on services in your area.

We’re very pleased to be able to offer a taste of the Whose Shoes? board game and engagement tool at each of our events. This is a fun and thought provoking tool that invites you to ‘walk in other people’s shoes’, to explore many of the concerns, challenges and opportunities facing the different groups affected by the transformation of maternity care. We’re grateful to Gill Phillips and the #MatExp community – look it up on social media – for providing this board game, along with scenarios and poems about maternity for our events.

Everyone is welcome at our events. We’re making them as child and baby-friendly as possible, so please do bring the family along. We would love for people to come in groups, and perhaps to try out the Whose Shoes? game together. Let us know on twitter @nhsmatreview or by email if you would like to arrange a meet up.

View our list of events – these are still being updated so please do check back later if you can’t find an event near you. We’re also visiting maternity services in areas where we don’t have drop-in events, and everyone will be able to contribute through an online survey which we will launch in the next couple of weeks.

I want to thank everyone who has contributed to the Review so far. I’ve met so many inspiring people in the past few months. There has been a real range of feedback, but what unites everything I’ve heard is that it comes from people with a real passion for making a positive change to maternity services.

We need all of you to turn our final report into reality, to turn words in to action and action into change. It’s because I have such confidence in the people I’ve met that I feel positive we are all moving in the right direction.

Dr Julia Cumberlege

Baroness Julia Cumberlege CBE DL was appointed a Junior Health Minister in 1992 and for five years she covered all Health and Social Services matters in the House of Lords.

She has been commissioned by two Governments to produce two national reports: “Neighbourhood Nursing – a Focus for Care” and “Changing Childbirth”.

At the invitation of the Royal College of Physicians, Julia has chaired two working parties. The first report “Doctors in Society” was published in December 2005. The second, “Future Physician, Changing Doctors in Changing Times”, was published in May 2010.

From 2000 until July 2006, Julia chaired St George’s Medical School.

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  1. Caroline Tully says:

    Would love the opportunity to discuss further. Are there any further dates available or another way to contribute?

  2. Sarah Jane Brown says:

    I would like to be able to discuss this however there are no events anywhere near me. Please could you send me details of how to do this.


  3. Karen feary says:

    If there were admin staff to answer the phone, the security door, put discharges through the computer after a midwife has discharged them. It would enable midwives to do their job, not paperwork. If mcas or msws were used effectively, it would also help. Feeding problems cause women to stay in for longer. Skill mix is appalling on shifts. Plus staff shortages, there are always messages going out asking for help to cover staff are paid at least double what normal,pay is. Demoralising midwives who work, and do extra hours do not have breaks, and no recognition. I have been a midwife since 1997 , stress causes lots of problems, we have to deal with so many different situations. I know I may not make a difference but!

  4. Dick Wallis says:

    Dear Julia – many thanks for our memorable discussion in your Sussex garden and for your very interesting broadcast. This provided a timely SWOT analysis of the current situation in this demanding field and I very much look forward to the possibility of talking to you again, at the South London drop-in event on 12th October. If there is any possibility of adding the Guildford area to your tour, I feel confident that it would be very well-attended in this busy area, with so many young parents. I have forwarded your latest information to relevant professional and business associates in the ANZAC region and will blog any useful replies – Best regards, Dick Wallis.