Our Reps Report Back

Maternity Service Update 

MVP Meeting (Online) June 2023, attended by Patricia Knight VCS Representative

  • Change of name: New name will be Maternity and Neonatal Voices Partnership (MNVP). 
  • New MNVP Co-Chair: Bianca has now joined Beverley as MNVP Co-chair. 
  • New Director and Associate Director of Midwifery: Mary Dehinbo and Felitta Burney-Nicol have joined the Trust and also attended the meeting.

  • Social Media and Community Outreach: Two service users have been appointed for community outreach and to assist with social media; these services are being developed.  

  • Successful Recruitment event: It is expected that some students will join the Maternity Unit in September/October, however due to the national shortage of midwives the Maternity Unit is to some extent dependent on bank/agency staff. 

  • Continuity of care: The team are increasing post-natal home visits. 

  • Breastfeeding support: Discussion around ways to support women with breastfeeding, including PN community.

  • Online Midwives Q & A session: MNVP has requested support to hold an online midwives question and answer session.

Maternity Service Update
Maternity & Neonatal Voices Partnership (MNVP) Meeting on October 2023, attended by Patricia Knight VCS Representative

  • Maternity Unit Experience: The meeting opened with two mothers sharing about their experiences having recently given birth at Croydon University Hospital Maternity Unit. Their experience was generally positive (although the Birth Centre had been closed on one occasion, this was due to staffing constraints).
  • Recruitment: Encouraging news, with Midwives being recruited in June, and 24 expected to join in January 2024. On-going recruitment events are planned and there will be recruitment for a Triage Lead.
  • Service user experience: A service user has been recruited for outreach/engagement work. A questionnaire is being finalised.
  • 'Walk the patch' will be re-starting (This involves obtaining views of women/family members in Post Natal wards).
  • A service user has been recruited for Maternity NVP social media work.
  • HEARD relaunch: Staff training to improve maternity outcomes for women of Black and Asian heritage.
  • An Information Programme (including online) is being devised for women booked with Croydon University Hospital Maternity Unity.


Maternity Services Update

  • Feedback from Care Quality Commission (CQC) visit to Maternity Unit in December 2022 was: friendly staff, good senior team/staff communications. Good HEARD work (improving outcomes for women from ethnic minority backgrounds).  Maternity Voices Partnership (MVP) chair was interviewed in addition to staff (she has benefited from bi-weekly meetings with Maternity Unit senior staff to keep informed of Maternity Unit/Trust developments. It was agreed there is a need for more service users on the MVP. 

  • Staffing: There has been a reduction in vacancy rates, but there are still challenges. There are more midwives starting, and eight requested.

  • Ockenden Report: Croydon has achieved 6 out of 7 audits. There have been 4 listening events for staff.

  • Continuity of Care: Continuing across all teams but challenging, as staff numbers are required to provide a safe service

    Home births: impacted by LAS possibly not answering Cat 2 calls.

  • MVP Action Plan 2023: Focus on outreach and more service users on MVP, 'In whose Shoes' survey planned for early 2023, 'Welcome', entry signage in multiple languages.

(MVP Meeting (Online) in January 2023, attended by Patricia Knight VCS Representative)

  • Recent 'walk the patch' in the Maternity Unit by Co-chairs and staff to obtain service user views. Feedback; general satisfaction, but triage area (which is quite small) did not feel welcoming. No posters, or illustrations on walls (now being addressed). More 'walk the patch' are planned in the Autumn.
  • Fall in the number of women giving birth at Croydon University Hospital. Data shows booking into Croydon, but going outside the borough-it is not clear why.
  • Recruitment: Maternity Unit allocated 161 FTE; 140 currently filled (including agency/bank staff). Emphasised that safety is not compromised; most agency staff have been with CUH for two years. Monthly recruitment fairs, more staff recruited, but most not due till January 2023. Some trainee midwives need support.  Retention; on average two midwives leave each month.
  • 23 August Ockenden: Assurance visit: Maternity Voices Partnership made a considerable contribution to the work; 22 August online meeting for service users. 
  • Continuity of Care: This has been impacted by staffing issues, but figures are stable but apply to the following teams: Crocus- home births; Lucina birth-centre, Nectar (women with diabetes), Leander (some postcodes), Rainbow (some postcodes and includes areas with a hostel for women refugees seeking asylum).
  • Croydon Family Hubs Plan: Rachael Tilford introduced plans for the Croydon Family Hubs and how they link with early years strategy.
  • Future MVP meetings: It was agreed to alternate online with face-to-face meetings if a suitable venue can be located.

(MVP Meeting 10 August 2022 attended by Patricia Knight)

Service User Experience: Some communication/translation issues identified for women whose first language is not English, debrief meeting to be held to follow this up.

  • Trust update: most staff are vaccinated as are most women attending the Maternity Unit. Staff absence due to covid has been an issue, as in all health and care settings.

  • Continuity of care: continues to be across the five teams in ante-natal; more variable in birth and post-natal due to staffing issues and midwife schedules

  • HEARD campaign report (to improve maternity outcomes for Black/Asian women): staff survey and training has been carried out and a service user survey is planned.

(MVP Meeting 9 February 2022 attended by Patricia Knight)
  • Carers strategy will be reviewed/refreshed in 2022. This will be republished in early 2023 with any changes or additions. Discussion on implementation delays in the existing '2018 - 2022 strategy due to Covid). 
  • Consultation with Carers' - discussion around consultation with carers to ensure co-production as not all carers are online, plus some (not all) are cautious about going out.
  • Young Carers' Education - also concerns raised regarding young carers whose education has been disrupted in the last two years, in addition to their caring responsibilities
  • Next meeting 22 April 2022

(From MVP meeting on 26 January, attended by Pat Knight)

  • Victoria Ollecito is replacing Sakina Ballard, as co-chair of the Maternity Voices Partnership (MVP). 
  • Training for maternity support workers being carried out
  • Update from TrustFrom 12 April, partners can stay 24/7 in the Maternity unit and accompany them to outpatient appointments (ante-natal, etc). Other visitors are still not permitted. 
  • Online survey: The results of the survey detailed in the MVP Annual report Black and Asian women were under-represented. Discussion on how MVP might better involve these groups and other hard-to-reach groups.

(MVP meeting 14 April 2021 attended by Pat Knight)