#MatExp goes to Cumbria

It had been a long, slow drive up to Cumbria.

But there was a lot of excitement about the #MatExp #WhoseShoes workshop 😎

And it felt VERY auspicious finding a basket of lemons by the door of our B&B! πŸ‹πŸ‹πŸ‹

Cumbria brings some really different challenges compared with densely populated urban areas

Many women live in isolated areas, with very limited public transport

The area was badly hit by the floods in December 2015 and the damage was still very apparent. How can maternity services plan for times of crisis?

The #MatExp Whose Shoes? workshop in North Cumbria had been commissioned several months ago and a lot of careful preparation had gone into it. Anna Geyer, New Possibilities, was there with her fabulous pens ready to record all the key issues around maternity experience, What good practice could we share and how could we improve things?

Denise Lightfoot set the scene. She invited people to think creatively – what would maternity services look like if we started with a blank page?

And I told them a bit more about the 'Whose Shoes' approach and how it is being used in other parts of the country

Mr #WhoseShoes came and took some great photos

The room was packed and soon the discussions were underway

People recorded their key ideas on post-it notes and fed them through to Anna to summarise in graphics

Soon all the ideas were flowing in!

And before long the post it notes were coming in a torrent - but, as always, Anna stayed super cool 😎

Stress is contagious - but so indeed is smiling! Denise leads the way...πŸ˜€

Soon it was time for the #MatExp #bakeoff - a key ingredient of #WhoseShoes workshops!

The winner!! 😎

And the discussions continued...

Everyone had a chance to interact and have their say

There were some pretty radical suggestions, especially when we started talking about women and families who can sometimes fall through gaps in services. Linking strongly with our new 'Nobody's patient' project.

Anna was still going strong with the graphic recording but broke off to feedback to the group some of the key ideas. Continuity is central to the National Maternity Review and something that both women and staff really want.

People were inspired to make some great pledges. The ACTIONS that come from the workshops are the most important outcome!

It would be interesting, in the future, to do some focused work using particular scenarios - e.g the subset of Whose Shoes cards that Baroness Cumberlege picked out around continuity!

There is a fascinating on-going conversation with Baroness Cumberlege and NHS England re how Whose Shoes can best support the implementation of the National Maternity Review

We really love North Cumbria - it is exciting and there is a great deal of energy and community spirit

Visiting beautiful countryside, cuddling babies and judging fabulous home-made cakes... I love my job! πŸ’œ

It was lovely to meet up with some new Twitter friends… and most of them stayed awake! πŸ˜‚

Special dispensation was given to our youngest participants πŸ’œ

I was thrilled to be able to introduce two of my favourite graphic artists – Anna and Katie 'Whoosh' Brook @BirthCompanion

Katie drew the lovely cartoon of me… tweeting! πŸ˜‚

Twitter brings amazing friendships and connections!

#MatExp is everywhere in Cumbria!

So we are aiming high! 😎

So much energy!

I had hoped to visit Morecambe Bay Hospital as they were one of the other two winners of the #MatExp Challenge Fund and we wanted to compare notes. As it happened, I managed to meet up with Coralie Rogers, Deputy Head of Midwifery at Morecambe Bay socially. All thanks to Twitter!

We also took advantage of our time in the North West to renew some connections and make some new ones. A really fantastic series of meetings with people who really 'get' Whose Shoes and its potential... I am excited about the possibilities of working with the University of Central Lancashire ...

Ali Gardner was one of the very first customers of Whose Shoes... back in 2009. Very exciting indeed to connect again and look towards further collaborations...

I had another amazing meeting with Anna Byrom and some colleagues involved with midwifery, neonatal care and mental health.

Thanks everyone for a wonderful time and making us so welcome!

Until next time...

#MatExp #WhoseShoes #Steller 🌟

Share This Story
  • New_Possibiliti

    love the way you've managed to incorporate video clips, it really brings it alive - even more than before! x

  • WhoseShoes

    Thanks Anna - the torrent of post-its being fed through for you to record, reflected in the Cumbrian waterfalls... :) x

  • dakotalane

    You are a cool person.

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