West Cumbria Meetings

Next Meeting

November 2020

September 2020

February 2020

November 21st 2019

These are overviews and agendas for the meetings. If you wish to see a copy of the full minutes and actions from any of our formal meetings, please contact us

Next Meeting

MVP team meetings are now being held online. 

Our next virtual area meeting is:

18th January 2021


2021 Meetings:

18th January

15th March

24th May

12th July

13th September

15th November

November 2020

  • Christina Feltham from the University of Cumbria to present her research around women’s experience of care received in relation to their weight management during pregnancy, birth and the postnatal period:
    o    Language used really important women reported
    o    Some did not feel active participants in their care
    o    Multiple appointments different departments and days – one stop clinics now in pace
    o    Lots of positive feedback for community midwives 
    o    Continuity of Carer increased positive experience
    o    Women like to know they have informed choice in their care
    o    Many felt GP not much help with weight issues, more holistic approach needed

  • The MVP were pleased to welcome Valerie Ayre, Public Health Locality Manager and Elaine Lewis, Health Care and Community Services, Cumbria County Council who talked about the Slimming World and Health weight services that are running.  Elaine also updated the group on BAPS - Breastfeeding and Peer Support Groups across West Cumbria, and the wish to set up new groups in areas where there is little support.  New Breastfeeding Peer Support training will be available.  Elaine is joining the MVP group as a member which is excellent news and we have a new MVP service user rep who is arranging to do the breastfeeding support training.  If you or others you know may be interested in this training, please get in touch.

  • Great news: Continuity of Carer Team Launch – the Caldew team was launched in Carlisle in November. 

  • Restrictions in partner involvement at appointments and visiting have been relaxed in North Cumbria. There is now a table updated every two weeks showing the current restrictions across all the maternity units in North Cumbria and North East.  The group agreed a local sheet showing restrictions locally would be useful.

  • Service user feedback shared including a miscarriage experience and breastfeeding support.

  • Power point presentation of initial findings from the Covid-19 pandemic maternity experience surveys presented. Initial findings and themes around:
    Overall satisfaction with maternity experience: 
    - 79% of those currently pregnant rates as ‘Satisfactory’ or better 
    - 90.83% of those who had given birth rated their experience as ‘Satisfactory’ or better. In both cohorts first time mums were more likely to rate satisfaction with their experience as poor or very poor than those who had previous birth experiences
    - More frequent contact with midwife/maternity team wanted
    - Strong and consistent preference for face to face appointments
    - Less ‘rushed’ appointments wanted 
    - Partners being involved and able to:
         attend appointments
         early labour all labour 
         postnatal ward 
    Information needs:
    - What appointments to expect and when
    - Regular updates on visiting available
    - Timely push notifications with regular updates
    - How and when to contact the ward
    - More information about what information was available and how to access
    Lack of antenatal birth and parenting preparation classes. Could be done virtually; no  signposting to 
    Postnatal care – some parents felt isolated and lacking support - ‘just left to it’ one Mum said.
    Health Visitor contact -Uncertainty on what services were available and what clinics running.  
    Mental wellbeing – most respondents felt that the pandemic had impacted on their mental wellbeing.  Key areas impacting and causing anxiety and stress related to:
    - partner involvement at scans and appointments; during labour and birth and postnatal ward. 
    - Less face to face contact with midwives and doctors was something that impacted on mental wellbeing 
    - Impacts from social isolation postnatally not having parent and baby groups to meet others at also impacting. 
    - Impacts on partners mental well-being also identified by Women as a concern
    84 % of those pregnant felt satisfied or better with support for their mental wellbeing
    More detailed survey reports to follow. 

  • The Carlisle Health Visitor team have now produced a video clip with details of how to contact them and what services were provided. Partner involvement and visiting arrangements are being reinstated, and kept under review, this is in line with what service users are seeking. Virtual antenatal classes being discussed and virtual tours

  • Neonatal voices - Have you seen latest blog from our new Service User Representative member? Mandy Marsden talks about her neonatal experience; and would like to hear about your experiences too to make sure that families have the support they need. Read it here.

September 2020


  • We talked about the actions and priorities for our Maternity Voices groups for the next 6 months.  See the draft list below. Are there other actions you think the MVP should look at?

    • MVP Key Focus Areas for 2020/2021​

      • Choice and Personalised Care​

      • Involvement of Partners (life / birth partners)

      • extending reach and increasing diversity of MVP voices

    • Local Maternity system Focus work areas with MVP
      • Continuity of Carer Implementation​
      • Addressing Inequalities 
  • How to promote choice to women locally.  If you wish to get involved do let us know

  • MVP received an update on addressing inequalities work happening locally. We discussed how we can widen diversity of persons involved in MVP to ensure we are an inclusive and representative voice – have you any ideas?  All views welcome! 

  • Shared feedback from Dads Matter presentation.  Are there some Dads/partners/ Co parents who would join the MVP and help these voices to be heard locally?

  • Shared MVP received service user feedback.  Findings from our local surveys on the impacts of Covid-19 on maternity experience will be shared at our November MVP meeting.

  • Updates given to the MVP on the implementation of Continuity of Carer locally, the first team is due to start in Carlisle.

  • For further information or any questions please contact: info@wnecumbriamvp.co.uk

February 2020


  • Your experience feedback

  • WCH Phase 2 development - 

  • Clinic waiting facilities for Mums with miscarriage /
    Threatened miscarriage
    Baby loss

  • Issues with breastfeeding support

  • Infant feeding study day MVP presentation 

  • Continuity of carer project

  • Visit to Lakes Birth Centre

November 21st 2019


Good attendance at this meeting

We discussed an additional birth pool which the MVP had been instrumental in receiving funding for.  Question asked about whether additional pool needed.  Some midwives feel existing pool not fully utilised; some mothers feel they may not get their choice of using pool for pain relief or birth if room already in use.  Feedback from women, and audit on use of birth pool will be done.

Feedback from Baby Loss awareness week All feedback received very positive, and the events arranged much appreciated. Many likes on MVP social media received for all these events, including the lighting up of courtyard at WCH.  Always Another Way had been active in supporting events. 

Facilities discussed. The use of a room for postnatal care that has not natural light continues to be raised.

MVP asked how Dashboards can show Black Asian Minority Ethnic #BAME outcome information. We heard that the clinical commissioning group is in conversation with public health on how such a dashboard may be provided, positive to hear this work is underway.

MVP waiting to hear feedback from postnatal picnics report, and to be involved in developing local postnatal care implementation plan.

MVP developed ‘Keep Labour Flowing booklet’ and posters will soon be published and distributed.

Our MVP meetings will become bi-monthly in 2020 with informal topic focussed workshops arranged also. The first topic will be postnatal care

We are looking for an MVP representative for a perinatal mental health steering group, please get in touch if you are interested.



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