#MatExp stormtroopers come to Gloucester!

#FabObs Flo wrote a lovely story recently about the unloved little room. Turning up in Gloucester, the slightly dark, slightly colourless little room felt as though it needed a similar makeover.

But it quickly came to life as we set out the colourful Whose Shoes board games and as people started to arrive. Especially with a rabble rousing personalised Star Wars introduction! 😉

Dawn Morrall and Helen Ford, got things off to a great start, telling people about the excellent initiatives in Gloucestershire. But what could we do to improve further and build the Local Maternity System? This was the subject of our #MatExp Whose Shoes workshop in Gloucester.

The room was packed and there was an air of anticipation as we listened to the opening speakers.

Dawn and Helen told us about some of the great stuff that was already happening in Gloucestershire – and how they really want to listen to people in order to improve further.

And Dawn had taken the time and trouble to come to our 'Star Wars special' in Bristol the previous week. This type of preparation helps people get the most out of their own sessions.

Now we were reaching for the stars!

Dawn talked about the choices available in this large service – 7000 births per year. Some of the babies who had been born recently had plenty to say about it!

It seemed that all the babies were boys. It reminded me of when my youngest son was born. 'The summer of '91 gang'. 7 friends; we all had boys: Robert, Patrick, Gareth, Liam, Alex, Lee and Jamie! #memories

Mums Up and Mobile. More good practice to share!

Ann Remmers updated us about the national Better Births programme and how it is being implemented in the South West region...

In our previous workshop in Bristol, Emma had drawn Ann while she was speaking!

Ann explained how we are using Whose Shoes to engage with local women and families, working with healthcare professionals to build the Local Maternity System.

And it was encouraging to see tweets from Somerset & Bristol, where we'd run the previous sessions. New ways of keeping the conversations alive.

Thank you for coming, Russell. It was good to know we had a paediatrician in the room. I later managed to tell Russell a bit more about the new 'Nobody's Patient' project, which looks at gaps in services, including those between maternity and neonatal care.

And an obstetrician - Maggie! And an impromptu bit of 'bottle art' - I must explore that further! 💡

And I think Maggie knows Sonia, another obstetrician who came along to our previous session in Bristol. Flo will be delighted – more #FabObs, a hashtag that we are using powerfully on Twitter to draw in more person-centred obstetricians.

Soon the discussions were underway. They are different at every workshop, different on every table.

The post-it notes started to flood in! Look out, Anna! 😘

There were babies everywhere! 😀

They were keen to bring us post-its too! Just in case Anna didn't have enough already!

And then Reuben got the post-it! Boys! There were plenty to go around!

Jack wanted to ask me something...

Good thinking Jack! Never too young or too old for a selfie! #ILoveMyJob! 💜

Never too young to develop good IT skills! #NHSCyberAttack 😰

It is always great to see the health professionals really listening to feedback from women using services

And everyone writing down the key points from the discussions, so that good practice can be shared and celebrated and improvements made where necessary.

We were delighted that Kirstie had come from the University of West of England. So important to get student midwives involved! And we had good feedback from the student midwife who attended. Hoping for lots more at future events!

I had made it clear in the introduction that only the babies were allowed to yawn...

Or fall asleep!

It was wonderful to see SO many babies!

But the discussions continued with passion and intensity. And lots of laughter. New ideas, new conversations, new friendships.

And quite a lot of tweeting! #MatExp 🍋

Vicky and other commissioners from the CCG were fully involved. Vicky had done a sterling job pulling the event together. 👍🏼

This feels like real engagement!

The event was held at the Museum in Gloucester and this community space added to the informality. As did a very nice lunch and networking fest!

And I simply had to buy interesting merchandise from their shop! 👻

How extraordinary!

Lunch break over! I don't know how she does it... Anna was still in full swing with the post-its; there was a bit of baby heckling. 😂 But she managed to do a brilliant summary of the key themes and inspire people further to feel that there were things they could personally do to make a difference.

Pledges. What has the session inspired you to do differently? I love seeing everyone relaxed, chatting, & feeling very much at home!

It is always fascinating to see how the different messages on Anna's graphic record map to pledges. Problems translated into solutions! 😀

Caption competition: "But surely we need to get more student midwives involved ?" "Yes. And don't call me Surely." 😂 #Airplane ✈️

My #MatExp partner in crime #FabObs Flo @FWmaternitykhft is always here in spirit at these events. And always making a real difference with her fab maternity team in Kingston. This is wonderful and definitely needs to go in our next book of case studies.!!

Brilliant to see everyone sharing really innovative – yet often very simple things that really make a difference! Hoping everyone will get involved through the fab #MatExp community

I love chatting to the 'Whose Shoes leaders' giving them ideas about what other people have done to build the energy and make real change. Oh, and I think I promised to do a Steller story! 😂

Ann shared a couple of forthcoming #BetterBirths events. There is so much happening in the Southwest and I am proud to work with this vibrant region who are finding out what their people really want and need before rushing to fill in the spreadsheets! 😉

Helen collected a sackful of post-its. I told her various different ways of using them to get added value. This was Episode 3 of our stormtroopers #matexpontour in the South West. I can't wait for episode 4 in Swindon on June 28. Join us! 💜 @WhoseShoes nutshellcomms.co.uk