4th annual Baby Lifeline Conference
Market Insight 27 September 2023 27 September 2023
UK & Europe
On Thursday 21 September the 4th annual Baby Lifeline Conference took place in Birmingham. The theme was Learning Together for a Safer Maternity Future.
The programme in the morning focused on the power of listening and being heard and the delegates had the privilege of listening to lived experience from three women who have experienced poor outcomes in their motherhood journey and have gone on to be campaigners for change. The afternoon’s programme looked at how to make care accessible and equitable, how to learn from outcomes and improve.
A theme which was referred to throughout the conference was that studies indicate that there is a disparity in respect of outcomes experienced by black, Asian and minority ethnic women and their babies. Sandra Igwe established the Motherhood Group following the birth of her oldest daughter as a direct response to feeling that she was not listened to during her pregnancy, birth and when she raised concerns about her daughter post birth. Sandra is a leading voice in campaigning for Black Mothers to be listened to and understood by healthcare professionals and spoke passionately about this.
At the Baby Lifeline conference there was a clear appetite and desire for change within the room. Within the NHS there are many dedicated people striving to improve patient safety and experiences every day. Some of those doing such fantastic work attended Baby Lifeline to talk about their projects which look to build bridges between communities and the NHS and to make services more accessible.
This week The Motherhood Group is running Black Maternal Mental Health Week UK and hosting a programme of online events throughout the week aimed at breaking down the stigma attached to mental health within black communities and raising awareness of this important issue.
For anyone wanting to address these issues as part of their own practice the takeaway tips from the speakers were;
- Actively listen to patients.
- Treat each patient as an individual; it’s ok to ask how they’d like to be described and it’s ok to ask how to pronounce their name - make sure you then use this.
- Think about the timing of appointments. Will scheduling these over lunch mean a woman has to decide between eating and accessing healthcare?
- When adverse outcomes occur, signpost support for patients and help them navigate processes. Don’t make them repeat their story multiple times.
- Continue to share ideas and initiatives between Trusts.
- It’s easy for healthcare professions to feel criticised to the detriment of morale so share success stories because there are many of them out there.