SNEE 5 Year Maternity Equity Plan

VCSE partnerships and maternity Building relationships In April 2022 SNEE LMNS financially invested in seven VCSE local organisations to support maternity services. The aim was • To build relationships of trust between maternity and communities using maternity ambassadors. • To increase engagement with maternity • To understand any cultural or religious barriers • To release capacity from frontline staff by supporting with the third sector Expressions of interest were sought, and organisations were invited to submit their bids. Seven local partners produced robust plans to support maternity in a variety of ways. Progress to date Working alongside community organisations such as African Families in the UK (AFiUK) PHOEBE, HomeStart, Youth Enquiry Service, Survivors in Transition and Ipswich Community Media (ICM) we are beginning to understand local population needs. This will not be a quick tick box exercise and we are committed to building long term relationships with the community. Each community organisation is offering dedicated links between them and maternity. They describe this in different ways – maternity community ambassadors, maternity advocates, family navigators and community connectors. Once the community links were in place we offered all ambassadors some updating and maternity information sessions. The aim was to equip the ambassadors with information to signpost into maternty and refer on if necessary. We wanted them to be able to speak confidently about maternity and understand the systems in place. The LMNS clinical lead has spent time with each organisation. What began as sessions to update the community partners has evolved into learning for maternity, and the sessions have been invaluable. The sessions have included • Listening to stories • Understanding the different maternity areas • An overview of maternity services • Who you might meet in maternity • Meeting with key staff such as health visitors, infant feeding leads and perinatal mental health midwives. • Options around birth locations • Planning births (PCSPs) • Understanding how to support the physiology of birth Alongside the face to face days there have been resources created for the VCSE partners to use. This is a central hub where they can find information on maternity services and referal pathways if necessary. You can view it here 14 | Suffolk and North East Essex Maternity Equity and Equality Narrative