Maternity Choice project
As North East London Healthwatch, we were recently commissioned to hear from Maternity Service Users across North East London about the reasons for their choice between our 5 available Maternity Units. With one of the highest birth rates in the country, the findings will help the Local Maternity and Neonatal System (LMNS) to form their new strategy for North East London. Following our previous engagement work on Equity and Equality, which is now embedded in the LMNS action plan, we also sought further insight on culturally sensitive Maternity care. Given our diverse population, this involved asking for service users' views on their care in relation to their cultural needs. Leading the team of 8 Healthwatch, we spoke to 403 service users, both by survey and also in-person during Maternity Choice week in early February. Our staff and excellent volunteers went in person to local Maternity Units and antenatal clinics to engage with women, and to be an independent listening service to gather their views.
We will publish the findings shortly. These will also be sent to all the Heads of Maternity Services and published on the LMNS home page.
Post-Covid-19 NHS staff project
Our previous work on Redbridge, Havering and Barking&Dagenham service users' experience of Post-Covid-19 syndrome showed that there were health inequalities within the data. Some communities experienced a greater impact of distressing symptoms, and we have wanted to further engage with service users affected by this. NHS staff were unequally affected by the first wave of Covid-19, and the Office of National Statistics (2021) identifies 122,000 still affected. We wanted to hear from local NHS staff about their experience and the impact of living with Post-Covid-19 syndrome. The surveys are in analysis and we will publish the findings shortly. These will also be sent to local NHS Trusts.