West Cumbria MVP Team
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Sandra Guise
Chair

I'm Sandra, I live in Ennerdale, and my children were born at West Cumberland Hospital.  I have been involved in relating the service user/ family perspective in maternity and children's services since my youngest son was 18 months old, and he is now at secondary school.  Maternity is such an important time in a woman s life, and her partner/ family's life. There is room for all to have a say in local services and lots of opportunities to be involved and make a positive difference. I'm Chair of West Cumbria Maternity Voices Partnership Group and acting Chair of the Carlisle & Eden MVP.

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Dane Graham
User Rep

My name is Dane, and I’m a Dad on the West Cumbria Maternity Voices Group. Prior to a few months before the birth of our son I was completely in the dark about pregnancy, birth and such like. Call it naivety (anxious) but I was quite worried about the whole process.
To help me and my wife suppress these anxious thoughts we decided to explore Hypnobirthing and what it entails.
After discovering the choices and information out there I joined MVP to voice my opinions to help make this information more readily available for all Dads. 

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Christine Davey
User Rep

I am Christine Davey, I live near Cockermouth and have three young daughters, all of whom were born at West Cumberland Hospital. After my first birth I had a retained placenta and needed immediate consultant care to stop haemorrhaging. My second and third births were less eventful, but I found a lot of strength from the excellent midwife led care that I received during labour and from being allowed to birth actively.

 

I joined MVP as I am passionate about local women being able to access the consultant and midwife led care that they require, so that they can birth how they choose, without fear. I am also huge supporter of continuity of care and good post partum care, particularly mental health and breastfeeding support. 

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Nicola Jackson
Local Programme Management Lead

I am Nicola, I have two grown up daughters who also work for the NHS.  I am the Programme Management Lead for our local maternity system and responsible for the delivery of the Better Births Programme.  I work closely with the Maternity Voices Partnership and with colleagues in North Cumbria Midwifery Service.  I am passionate about delivering the best NHS services for babies, children, young people and families.

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Kara Smallman
User Rep

National: For me, our maternity services are vital for the ongoing & sustainable development of our community. In order for us to continue to develop our own unique services we need to have our voices heard & this is why I volunteer.

Local: Following the birth of my second son I have been experiencing some mental health issues & got in touch with my local MVP group for help & support. I now want to help change & enrich the maternity experience for others in the hope of reducing the risk of situations like mine. I want to share my story with others so that they know it is ok, not to be ok. Mental health is as important as physical health. We have a unique opportunity to voice our needs, wants & concerns with those who have the power to make an impact. We as parents have certain requirements at a beautiful & stressful time in our lives. We need to feel valued, listened to & important. We need to know that our views count & that we are not just on a conveyor belt. One size does not fit all & this is why our MVP group is so important.

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Emma Butterworth
User Rep

I'm Emma, a local primary school teacher and mum to an almost 3 year old little girl who was conceived through IVF and born under the fantastic care and support from the team at West Cumberland Hospital. Currently, I am pregnant with my second child and in my 3rd trimester, so also a service user. I joined the MVP group just after my daughter was born. I was keen to be involved in sharing my experiences of fertility issues, my pregnancy and labour journey, and ensuring the women and men of West Cumbria have a voice to access the best possible maternity care. The MVP group is a fantastic platform where we can share the concerns, experiences and issues of local people, in the hope we can help shape the service to reflect the care that is needed. 

Rosey Richardson
Rosey Richardson
User Rep

I’m Rosey and I’m a stay at home Mum to my 3 year old son and active User Rep on West Cumbria Maternity Voices. I joined Maternity Voices after I had my son at West Cumberland Hospital and was keen to help support the services in any way I can. I firmly believe that women and families from all walks of life, no matter what circumstances they find themselves in, deserve the best possible care for delivering their babies and supporting their families – and that they should have a say in what care they receive! Maternity Voices is a great way of reaching out to people and finding out their experiences and views about the things that matter most to them.

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Julie Foster
University Of Cumbria

I'm Julie. I'm a qualified nurse and registered midwife. I am Programme Leader for the BSc (Hons) Midwifery programme. Responsibilities include managing a small team of midwifery lecturers in addition to the operational management. In 2016 I took up an additional role of Lead Midwife for Education, a Nursing and Midwifery Council statutory role which entails the post holder being responsible for the overall quality of the course in addition to taking a strategic approach to programme development. A key aspect of curriculum development is the involvement of service users in the content and the reason why I joined the Maternity Voices in Partnership Group to foster collaboration and a partnership approach to the education and training of student midwives.

Janine Ward
Janine Ward
User Rep

I'm Janine , a mental health and psychological wellbeing practitioner at Together We Community Interest Company. 

My background is working in Improving Access to Psychological Therapies, lecturing in mental health and NHS secondary Mental Health Care. Specialist interest areas are older adults MH, Personality Disorders and promoting basic common factor therapeutic skills in staff.

I have recently had a little boy, so I am also a service user. He is doing great! I enjoy walking, exercising and have three pooches who I enjoy spending my time with.

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Hilary Royston-Bishop
User Rep

I am a mum to two daughters born in 2016 and 2018. Both my girls were born in West Cumberland Hospital after I moved to the area for work.
My eldest was born via emergency c section following discovery of an undiagnosed breech position.
My youngest was a much less eventful birth but I utilised hypnobirthing this time which made the whole experience a lot more positive for me.
I am passionate about improving maternity services in West Cumbria and supporting women to have the birth experiences that they want.
I believe we shouldn't have to 'settle' for a lower level of services due to our rural location.

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Belinda Rae
NHS - Maternity Administrator

My name is Belinda Rae and I provide administration support for the Maternity Voices groups in both the West and Carlisle & Eden areas.  I work as a Team Secretary within the Maternity Department and am based in West Cumberland Hospital.  I provide administration/secretarial support for the Head of Midwifery and the Senior Midwifery Management Team, as well as the Maternity team in general and work closely with Maternity Voices to ensure effective meetings and communication with both the public and staff.  I enjoy attending the meetings (and can sometimes get a little more involved than I should!) and I am passionate about Maternity and the provision of excellent services for women in our area.  I look forward to seeing you at one of our meetings.

Natalie Spedding - Maternity voices User
Natalie Spedding
User Rep

Hi, I'm Natalie. I have 3 sons aged  19months, 6 and 11 years. I also work part time as an administrator. I joined MVP with a keen interest in breastfeeding support in our local area. I have recently completed the UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative Breastfeeding and Relationship Building Level 3 training and became a Breastfeeding Peer Supporter as part of the Allerdale BAPS team where we will be running a number of breastfeeding support groups accross Allerdale once the libraries are able to reopen.  I am looking forward to becoming more involved in the MVP and learning ways in which we can improve maternity services for women and their families.

Sam Joughin
Sam Joughin
User Rep

I'm Sam and I'm a director of Together We CIC, I am also a mother to a 4 year old boy and 3 year old girl. 

I became a part of Maternity Voices for a few different reasons, "Together We Carry" run sling advice and support groups for families within Copeland and Allerdale. Often I was hearing anxiety from our service users about the future of maternity services. I also heard regularly that expectant mothers felt they had no choice in how their maternity experience went, this alongside my own birth experiences made me want to get involved, to feedback what I have learned and to help give service users a voice. 

Jenny Fye
Jenny Fye
User Rep

I'm Jenny Fye and I'm a HypnoBirthing Practitioner and mum to 4 awesome girls, who were all born at home under the care of our fabulous community midwife team. I joined the Maternity Voices team as I am passionate about helping women have a positive birthing experience. I believe local women and their families should have a say in the care they receive during their pregnancy and birth, and it's a great platform to help shape and improve local maternity services.

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Tamsin Graham
User Rep

I'm Tamsin, after the birth of my son I trained to become a hypnobirthing teacher after having a lovely positive birth and felt that it was something all women should have the choice to access. I set up West Cumbria Hypnobirthing and I love it! Being involved in such a special experience for Women and their partners is so rewarding and truly magical to be part of. I joined MVP as I wanted to be more actively involved, locally, with maternity services so that women and their birth partners voices were at the forefront of any changes and influential in any decision making. I am very passionate about all aspects of maternity care but especially continuity of care, homebirth, birth partners role including birth environments and informed choices. 

Mandy Marsden - Maternity Voices Partner
Mandy Marsden
User Rep

I am mum to Joshua and Darcy, twins born at 23 weeks gestation. Due to their extreme prematurity we spent several months on the NICU at both the University Hospital of North Tees and the RVI in Newcastle. The twins had a rocky neonatal journey but are now thriving 5 year olds. Joshua has ongoing health conditions and learning difficulties and I balance being a carer for him with working and volunteering for a neonatal charity, Leo’s. I am a trustee and peer supporter for Leo’s and am passionate about helping other neonatal families who have been through similar experiences to mine. Joining the MVP is one of the ways I hope to give voice to other parents and try to give something back to my community.

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Gail Dobson-Burns
User Rep

I’m Gail, I joined Maternity Voices officially in 2019 after a bit of contact from 2015 following my first maternity experience. I run a pregnancy and infant loss support group called Silent Footprints through local charitable CIC - Always Another Way based near West Cumberland Hospital. After experiencing losses myself in 2014 & 2015 and many operations, I finally became a mother in 2016 and use my experiences to help others in similar situations. I’m a Mental Health First Aider and ASIST (suicide intervention) trained to run my groups. I like being a part of Maternity Voices still now as I have my own personal experiences, also feedback from my Silent Footprints group members anything that they have experienced also, so I find it a good way to link the two together

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Julie Tiffin
Midwife - Project Lead in NCIC

Hi I am Julie, Project Lead Midwife for Continuity of Carer for NCIC. I am a mum of two grown up boys, one born in London and one born in Carlisle.

I have been a Midwife for over 27 years, mainly working in the community setting.  I have also been a Specialist Midwife for Teenage Pregnancy. We are very pleased to have our first Continuity of Care team, the Caldew Team  in Carlisle, which commenced in November and we hope that we will be able to develop further teams in North Cumbria. I look forward to being more involved in MVP.