Racing ahead 🐎🐎🐎

#MatExp - let's get these roadshows on the road!

As part of our #MatExp Challenge Fund 'Nobody's Patient' project, we are required to send a monthly progress report to NHS England. Flo Wilcock @fwmaternitykhft is doing this by Steller stories; she has just published the story of a very action packed September. One page in this mentions my visit to Taunton for the South West region 'Better Births' roadshow. This is quite a story in itself. I thought I would tell it here – giving you an idea of the types of connections and actions that are spinning from the #MatExp #WhoseShoes project and the ever-growing momentum.

This was the page that appeared in Flo's Steller story.

So how did I come to 'slip off to Taunton'? What was I doing there and why?

So hopefully this story will bring it alive! 😘

@StowawayTeddy came too. Can you spot him in the story?

Well, at the launch of Better Births at The Oval Cricket Club, we heard the importance of multi professional working and working across boundaries – and #MatExp #WhoseShoes is good at getting everyone working together.


Apparently there were going to be some regional roadshows, looking at how to implement the Better Births recommendations. There is a really action-focused team in the South West and they forgot to wait for instructions from on high about how to run their regional roadshow. JFDI. πŸ˜‰

We had been hoping to find a way to work together for a very long time. I was thrilled that when they put together their programme, they gave me a whole hour as a plenary session to see how Whose Shoes could help move things forward.

They had been impressed when I had demonstrated the tool at the RCM conference and again when they invited me to the National SCN conference in London.

I put together a plan for the roadshow and what I hoped it would achieve

I'm not a fan of standard business plans and templates. They can be dull.

'Continuity of carer', one of the seven key recommendations of Better Births, was a key theme of the conference and we decided to focus on this.

When Baroness Cumberlege, Chair of the National Maternity Review, invited me to the House of Lords to discuss Whose Shoes, she asked me how the tool could help with continuity.

I explained that selecting the most relevant cards for discussions was a key part of planning a 'Whose Shoes?' session and Baroness Cumberlege subsequently took the trouble to go through the cards and select the ones she thought would be most suitable.

We even tweeted about it! 😎 So Taunton gave us a chance to try them out in this context.

The Taunton event was packed. It was great to see so many people coming together from across a very wide geographical area to take the opportunity to network and swap ideas.

Everyone was proud that the first regional roadshow was in the South West – and determined to make it really action focused!

There was even a 'for sale' and wanted' facility for each key topic to help people exchange good practice

Ann Remmers set the scene

Amy Warren had a difficult session at the beginning of the conference. She did brilliantly, holding everyone's attention and giving a powerful introduction against a backdrop of thunderstorms, power cuts and resulting failing technology!

I was particularly glad that Powerpoint was back on in time for Sir Cyril Chantler, Deputy Chair of the Maternity Review. He talked about the listening events that had been held across the country, and how Whose Shoes conversations were a key part of this.

He explained some of the key thinking of 'Better Births' and the importance of community hubs. This was music to my ears – take a look at our #FabChangeDay #CovMindTheGap campaign, which sets out to bridge gaps between people and services.

And then... as the thunderstorm continued… it was my turn! ⚑️🌩πŸ’₯

During my presentation, I was aware of an audience of two halves. Those who know and love Twitter, and those who didn't really 'get' what I was on about as I excitedly told them about #MatExp

My role is generally to challenge assumptions, fire up energy for change and help people to think in new ways. I am not a box ticker. ❎

OK. So you no longer give my mum (i.e modern day counterparts) castor oil. But where is there still room for improvement?

Graphic facilitation is a great way of capturing what people say and we use this at all the major Whose Shoes? workshops. This powerful image is by Anna Geyer, New Possibilities.

I gave people a quick overview of how the process works and some of our main achievements to date - with real action and some wonderful case studies coming from all the workshops.

During the course of my session, we managed to have discussions around nearly all the cards that Baroness Cumberlege had selected. This was not as in depth as a full blown workshop, as we have now held working with many hospitals, but nonetheless a good taster. It seemed to be well received with lots of ideas and comments, all subsequently shared with the delegates.

This image was from our #MatExp Whose Shoes session in Leeds and is by Tom Bailey

I was proud to tell people more about #MatExp and the wonderful workshops that we hold in which people feel that they have a voice and are genuinely listened to and have a real chance to contribute to service improvement.

And we showed the film that we made for NHS Expo, including the fab crowd-sourced mums' RAP, personally commissioned by Sarah-Jane MarshπŸ˜‰

I am proud of the little 'JFDI video' we took at Queens hospital. It shows their Whose Shoes workshop in action. Like most of our work, it was spontaneous, just grabbing an iPhone and taking some footage around the room. The South West delegates seemed to enjoy it. πŸ’œ

I was also able to talk about 'Nobody's Patient', exploring some of the issues for women and families who all too often fall between gaps in services, and explain how people can get involved.

Flo Wilcock has held fantastic mini #MatExp 'Nobody's Patient' roadshows with colleagues at Kingston Hospital and St George's.

And while people were discussing the issues... I tried to persuade Richard Harris to get on Twitter!

At the end of the morning, I was very honoured to take part in the Question and Answer panel. My expression here looks a bit like something from a caption competition, but I was very impressed with the wisdom and depth of knowledge coming from the session.

I got my first real chance to chat to fab Jo Black, who co-leads nationally on perinatal mental health. This is an area that really lends itself to Whose Shoes, looking at issues from different perspectives, generating very real conversations and building empathy and understanding.

Jo's talk was very informative and I particularly like her 'storytelling' approach. The short quotes that she shared in her presentation were very relevant to Whose Shoes.

There was some challenging local work – taking things that delegates had said were problems and turning them into solutions!

Ann Remmers chaired the day brilliantly, introducing all the fab speakers, constantly encouraging everyone to think how to make 'Better Births' real in the South West and keeping the energy levels high

I am working closely with the West Midlands AHSN. This and my new collaboration with the South West Midlands Maternity and Neonatal Network (SWMMNN) are further opportunities to make or grow connections between regions – it doesn't have to be subject specific e.g. maternity, just linking people who are passionate about improving healthcare

Ann is the Patient Safety Programme Director, West of England Academic Health Science Network, and the Clinical Director, South West Maternity and Children’s Clinical Network. (Yes, I know, they love long job titles in the NHS! πŸ˜‰ ) And,to bring in another sporting analogy, Ann was the one who kicked off me getting involved with the South West region!

Ann has a great sense of humour – at least I hope so! πŸ˜‚

Humour is one of the FUNdamentals of building a change platform πŸ˜‰

And so is believing that change is possible – and that we don't need to ask anyone's permission

As always, one of the real highlights of the day was catching up with Twitter friends. It was lovely to see Jenny Hall and many others!

So I look forward to working with the South West team again and hopefully being part of the other regional roadshows as they take place across the country. Big congratulations to the South West region for racing to get this important show on the road!

Join the magic: (especially once I update my website – coming soon!) @WhoseShoes

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