West Cumbria Meetings

Next Meeting

November 2021
September 2021

March 2021

January 2021
November 2020

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:

10th January 22


Let's talk about:

  • Your maternity experiences

  • Current visiting arrangements 

  • COVID-19 Vaccinations - what are your questions?

  • A plan to hear about your postnatal care and induction experiences. 

2022 Meetings:

7th March

9th May

27th June

22nd August

17th October

12th December

November 2021


Here is what we talked about in November 2021:

  • We shared feedback from GP 6-8 week workshop. A pre-check questionnaire is being developed using the feedback, and there will be a professional training session involving service users.

  • E-Midwife and antenatal class resources, hopefully to be launched early in 2022

  • Positive 'gentle' Caesarean birth experience shared. Good assistance post birth with lots of information. 

  • Catering for diet controlled diabetic mothers was raised - What was your maternity experience? Were the food choices suitable?

  • Continuity of carer will be launched in part of West Cumbria in 2022. 

  • Bernice Radcliffe is the new Infant Feeding Coordinator at West Cumberland and she gave us a detailed update on infant feeding. 

September 2021


Minutes coming soon

Can you help us by giving: 

feedback about your GP 6-8 week check

- comments on an Induction or Labour leaflet

- feedback about your Optimal Cord Clamping experience

Please contact info@wnecumbriamvp.co.uk 

March 2021


We talked about: Choice in Pregnancy and Birth

  • Information and communication are key to receiving personalised care and support

  • Need information on choices available locally for all birthplaces, birth preferences, induction, & pain relief, feeding choices

  • Choice conversations best to start early and continue throughout pregnancy

  • More time needed to discuss choices with midwife/team/ & at antenatal classes

  • COMING SOON - Virtual Tours, Live Midwife Chat sessions antenatally and other support resources

  • Involve birth partner in discussions about preferences, can help advocate

  • You shouldn’t need to be assertive to have preferences and choices about your maternity care

We received Updates on:

  • BAPS Breastfeeding Advice Peer Support - 5 week breastfeeding live sessions are happening. Live videos can be viewed anytime.  Face to face sessions may restart 12th April

  • Updates on the Donna Ockenden Report and local response - Funding for additional midwifery staffing agreed. Recruitment of new midwives to replace retirements ongoing. Consultants are doing twice daily ward rounds.

We have been Involved in:  

  • WCH Phase 2 - planning room layouts with architects and professionals & service users for Postnatal, Antenatal clinic & Day Assessment and Early Pregnancy Assessment Clinic areas

  • MVP to support communications on the re-launch of Midwifery Led Rooms this spring

We reviewed:

  • Maternity Clinical Dashboard

  • Breastfeeding rates are down, impacted by lack of parentcraft classes

  • Vaginal births are down, and caesarean section rates are up, an audit is underway.

  •  MVP to review a caesarean section debrief checklist to support women who have had unplanned section before they are discharged.

  • There is now a dedicated Anaesthetist for Obstetrics so work around gentle caesareans and enhanced recovery should move forward

  • Induction of labour rate high. MVP planning an Induction workshop to share experiences

  • Your Experience Feedback

  • Service user wants to nominate her retiring midwife for an award for being ‘awesome’

  • MVP still receiving feedback that Mums are needing Virtual Tours, and midwife parent craft classes & antenatal breastfeeding workshops.   Plans are underway to get online sessions running soon.

    NEW:  Have you seen our Instagram account? @NorthCumbriaMVP

January 2021


Maternity Arrangements during Covid – New poster on maternity Arrangements has been shared. Good to have the information regularly available so parents know what the situation is.  The area generating most questions presently was antenatal classes and inductions.  Where possible the unit does try to start induction in single room on delivery suite, but this is not always possible due to limited number of single rooms, how busy the unit is & acuity factors. Service users asked questions about support available for Mums having induction when partners not allowed to be with them.  

MVP draft action plan for 2021 -discussed in detail – comments welcomed – if you are not a MVP member but would like to see draft please get in touch chair@wnecumbriamvp.co.uk

Infant feeding Laura Rodgers Infant Feeding Coordinator – told us about her role, which covers:
•    Leading the work for Baby Friendly Initiative accreditation. The Health Visiting service is working towards level 3.   
•    Developing strategies for infant feeding work, includes policies and liaising with health professionals to raise awareness
•    Provision of specific infant feeding support, either by referral on from Midwife, Health Visitors and Peer Supporters, or self-referral by Mums.
The MVP felt it was really important that Mums had all the details of what support was available, before they had their baby and afterwards.  This information has not been seen on Badgernet current service users told us.  What support is there for Mums wanting to prepare for breastfeeding was a concern as no breastfeeding classes presently. Currently not available. The Trust is looking into online antenatal classes and breastfeeding workshop provision.  Questions were asked about the availability of feeding support on the postnatal ward. 
MVP learnt that 16 members of staff are starting training to become IBLC lactation consultants - which is great news for future feeding support. 

Can you help? More volunteers are sought to train as Breastfeeding Peer supporters– if you are interested please get in touch. BAPS Peer supporters are available to support Mums postnatally from day 10.

Instagram and social media survey- MVP member Hannah has recently run a short survey to find out whether there is interesting in MVP setting up Instagram. We learnt that Instagram could help us to reach a younger demographic than Facebook. We found that service users would like to receive mixture of fact personal experience and fact based; 100% wanted to see receive video clips from within the units and some short interviews from local midwives.  MVP looking for some social media volunteers for a small group to set up and run this account.

University of Cumbria – Student Midwife training – MVP input – the MVP has been involved in two training sessions in January ensuring service users views are heard.  Three volunteers came forward for this to share their experiences on formula feeding.  And three Mums inputted their experiences into session on Shaping Student led parent craft session. Another session on feeding in in difficult circumstances is taking place in March. 
-  Thankyou Kara, Dai, Ashleigh Jenny, Katy and Dai, Hannah and to all those that have fed back comments to MVP, and got involved

Opportunities for involvement – if you are reading this and thinking you might like to get involved in the MVP please contact info@wnecumbriamvp.co.uk

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.