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Maternity service user forum to hear views about Helme Chase midwifery unit consultation

Homepage » News » Maternity service user forum to hear views about Helme Chase midwifery unit consultation

Maternity service user forum to hear views about Helme Chase midwifery unit consultation

Posted on Thursday 13th October 2016
A forum is being held later this month by the Bay-wide Maternity Services Liaison Committee (MSLC) to hear views about the ongoing public consultation on the Helme Chase midwifery-led unit in Kendal.

The forum will take place on Wednesday 26 October from 10 am to 12noon in the South Lakes Foyer, Yard 95a, Stricklandgate, Kendal. Service user representatives from the MSLC, colleagues from NHS Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and midwives from the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust will be present.

Mel Gard is a service user representative who chairs the MSLC, which involves women and their families, who have used maternity services and who work with the NHS professionals to develop services to meet their needs. She said: "This informal meeting will give mums and their families the opportunity to discuss the benefits and challenges of the current on call service and offer their views on the proposal. Midwives will be present who are keen to hear about ideas of how to promote the midwifery unit for women who are suitable to give birth there, but also to have a conversation about other services which could be provided for all women before and after birth."

She continued: "We know that not everyone will be able to stay for the whole forum but they are very welcome to come along for the time they can spare. Children are also welcome and we will be creating a play space for them."

Mel said she would be grateful if anyone planning to attend could let her know (email: mel.gard@btinernet.com) so that the necessary arrangements can be made for refreshments, although this is not essential. She is also reminding parents who plan to attend that they can claim travel expenses and that if they use a registered Ofsted child minder they are able to claim those costs too.

Eleanor Hodgson, director of children and families for NHS Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group, said: "We are very grateful to the MSLC for taking the time to arrange this forum. The MSLC provides excellent support to the NHS over developing and improving maternity services and their involvement is very much appreciated." 

She added: “The event will provide another opportunity for people currently using local maternity services or who have had recent experience of the service to share their views with us about the proposal we are consulting on to make permanent some interim arrangements that were introduced at Helme Chase in December 2014.”

All comments received during the forum will be noted so that they can be taken into consideration by NHS Cumbria CCG’s Governing Body, along with other feedback received, at the end of the consultation process.

The consultation about Helme Chase began on 21 September and will run until 4 November 2016. The interim change means that while women can still deliver their babies at Helme Chase 24/7, the staff are no longer on duty in the unit overnight and at weekends when there are no women or babies to care for. Instead they operate an on-call service and if a woman goes into labour during these times they arrange to meet her at the unit or assess her in her own home if that is her preference.

However, following the birth, community midwives now provide postnatal care in a woman’s own home and feeding support at Helme Chase. Over recent years there has been a national shift towards women who have had uncomplicated births requiring no medical input or ongoing medical care going home within hours of the baby’s birth, with individualised postnatal care being provided in a woman’s own home or the community. This is because home is usually seen as the best place to recover following delivery.

Further information about the consultation, which ends on 4 November 2016, is available at: http://www.cumbriaccg.nhs.uk/get-involved/Consultation/helme-chase.aspx
Posted on Thursday 13th October 2016


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