When 'old power' meets 'new power'

Culture change

For the last few years, there has been some really exciting work happening in maternity services. In 2014, Flo @FWmaternitykhft and I founded #MatExp, an energetic social movement, based on a powerful combination of Whose Shoes? workshops and grassroots community and staff engagement. Tapping into the passion of anyone who wants to make a difference. πŸ’œ

We have worked in partnership with the London Strategic Clinical Network and NHS England to run inclusive Whose Shoes? workshops. We have fired up energy and local ownership to achieve positive change in maternity care and support

We believe in people. And when you believe in people, incredible things happen!

We were proud to help shape the Better Births vision.

Whose Shoes was used at all the national maternity review listening events. Through Twitter, we encouraged lots more women and families to come and join the conversation & hopefully to contribute more nuanced views, based on these thought-provoking discussions.

We've been fortunate that the people leading this work are people who care and really 'get it'. It was great to see passionate frontline staff like @JennytheM get the chance to meet Baroness Cumberlege and explain her courageous 'Skin to Skin' campaign. We wondered how or whether #MatExp #WhoseShoes would hook up more formally with the Better Births team in terms of implementation, which is what it's all about!

We have helped show the way in terms of engaging in more modern ways – the so-called 'new power'. I was chuffed to get the chance to give Baroness Cumberlege an impromptu Twitter masterclass. πŸ‘πŸΌ

At our workshops, people make pledges about what they'll actually do.

And then they do it. I have enjoyed telling people this week the story of the wonderful midwife at Kingston Hospital who had a vision to introduce graffiti boards, rather than only offering the more bland 'friends and family' feedback. Now they are catching on in other maternity units. Read the case study here.

We encourage people to look at things from different perspectives. And have a bit of fun. πŸ‹

Happy memories from the Quality & Safety Forum in London, April 2017. I co-presented with this fantastic team who are reducing maternal and neonatal mortality rates in Nigeria

Cake is a great leveller. The #MatExp bake off has become quite competitive! πŸ‘€

There is a lot of goodwill and generosity. Sometimes things make us cross …

And I don't just mean some of the things that we hear women and families say at our workshops.

.When the'Better Births' report was published we looked for the promised 'best practice box' for Whose Shoes? Nothing. We looked for a paragraph about #MatExp, which was bringing in new people every day and storming social media and already leading to impressive outcomes : Nothing. And then we read that apparently we 'needed' all the things we were already doing: a social movement, families and professionals working together, listening and engagement. It all felt very disingenuous... (Polite version).

But that fired us up to put a winning entry into the NHS England #MatExp Challenge Fund. And to develop the powerful 'Nobody's patient' project which focuses on three specific groups who all too often fall through gaps in services, particularly between maternal and neonatal care.

Flo has written a brilliant Steller story about different types of leaders in #MatExp. The thing that unites us all is passion, rather than any formal role in the traditional hierarchy.

The best examples of easily transferable best practice have been written up into 2 books of case studies – 10 from our original #MatExp project and 10 from '#Nobody's Patient'.

We thrive on connecting people, building energy and helping them work together for positive change

We are constantly trying to build bridges between 'old power' and 'new power', which brings me back to my two juxtaposed experiences this week

It has certainly been a colourful week.

Better Births and #MatExp are doing something innovative and real to connect 'old power' and 'new power'. Bringing it alive on the main stage at NHS Expo, Made possible by: outrageous tweets and someone prepared to listen and take a risk. πŸ‹

We had a great meeting and luckily Mr Whose Shoes had been able to help me turn the wacky brown paper planning Flo and I had been doing into a more conventional timeline. Otherwise they would have all just had to come round to my house! πŸ˜‚

Sarah Jane Marsh gave the green light. A crowdsourced musical extravaganza. And, as we knew she would be, was keen to add some fab creative touches of her own, which will make it very special indeed! πŸ‘πŸΌ

So the master plan is coming together. We are all very excited about it. Join us on the main stage at Expo, 2pm Tues, 12 Sept– just before Jeremy Hunt! πŸ˜‰

So the timing of the #newpower event in London the following day seemed very fortuitous. An event organised by the NHS Horizons team, exploring the theory of old and new power. What could be learn? Plenty – not least from the diverse group of people there.

I love connecting with movers and shakers, many of whom were new to me: @judegoddard & @tootscd hereπŸ‘πŸΌ

I had a chance to catch up with a few people as well and fill a few more gaps for our main stage extravaganza at Expo. We really want to get more AHPs involved, so it was great to catch up with Naomi McVey.

There seemed to be a lot of things in two columns. For me there are more grey areas than that, but it was food for thought

This more visual analogy appealed to me more. Especially as I used to be addicted to Tetris! I must try Minecraft... πŸ‘€

Anne tipped me off something very interesting was happening in the basement. I was tempted to nip off and have a look, but I behaved! πŸ˜‡

I found it very interesting hearing about different campaigns, for good and for bad. And comparing their 'tactics' with what we are doing pretty intuitively for #MatExp. We certainly don't have anybody closely studying change theory, so it was interesting to hear from the people who do.

Some of it really struck a chord. For example I originally set up Whose Shoes, strongly believing that 'the answers are in the room', if only people would listen to grassroots expertise, whether it be staff or patients. Other theories also linked closely to what we are doing in our campaigns.

I was keen to see how it would all turn into action. What would the call to action be at the end? How would it be followed up? I am still wondering about this…

The next stage was an 'unconference' where people are invited to put forward a topic and lead it on a table and others can choose to join you – or not. I was a bit frustrated at the complexity / rules / barriers that seemed to be dominating some of the conversations, so stuck my neck out and offered to run a session on how to 'Just do it', finding ways to cut through the 'stuff'.

I have seen over and over how passion can get stifled by red tape

I was delighted some of my #CovMindTheGap friends were there. So I split the feedback with Mel @grapevineyp. Mel talked about #CovMindTheGap and I talked about #MatExp as two exemplar change platforms where people have 'just done it'.

We got a spontaneous round of applause, so hopefully it struck a chord with people.

And I got the chance to tell people about our #MatExp #BetterBirths gig at Expo! Leigh who tweeted this is one of many mums joining us.

A good day and an exciting week!

Looking forward to where we go from here! Join the conversation!

#MatExp #WhoseShoes