Our aim in this project is to improve the quality of maternity services being offered in Tower Hamlets by supporting local mothers to influence policy and practice. We do this
- by consulting mothers about their experience of using the maternity services and communicating such experience to those involved in providing services and
- by enabling a group of mothers to participate in the Tower Hamlets Maternity Services Liaison Committee (MSLC).
In 2006 the Department of Health (D0H) issued new guidelines stating that in every area there should be an effective multi-disciplinary maternity services forum, where commissioners, providers and users of maternity services bring together their different perspectives in partnership to plan, monitor and improve local maternity services. In 2008, Tower Hamlets PCT commissioned Social Action for Health to establish the local MSLC.
We used our Health Guide model to facilitate community sessions with local women focussing on maternity services. The health guide sessions encouraged feedback on services and created opportunities for participants to think about recommendations.
We continue to support the work of the Tower Hamlets MSLC, recruiting and encouraging diverse membership, supporting the chair and mentoring parent/ lay representatives to fulfil their roles on the MSLC.
We have seen improvements in the attitudes of the day time midwives, where we felt that the day time midwives were more approachable and more helpful now and also had a smile on their face. (Chinese mums)
I had my second baby in August 2010 and I have seen a
big change in the same midwife that I had four years ago. The same midwife who delivered my first baby was now friendlier and more supportive. (Bengali mum)
Having antenatal classes at our GP surgery is very convenient for us.
Our GP and the midwives at The Aberfeldy Practise have provided an excellent antenatal service. (Bengali mum)