FOCUS GROUP PROGRAMME
- Maternity Services and Support for Black Women – Challenges & Solutions.
- Date: 20th October 2020
- UCAN, Birmingham Public Health, Heat CIC– West Birmingham Integrated Care Partnership
Purpose: On Wednesday, 20 October, from 4-8pm, in honour of Black History Month, the West B’ham Integrated Care Partnership are sponsoring a sharing event for black women who have had their babies in West Birmingham. While most women in West Birmingham use City Hospital, we do have a fair few who use the Women’s, and all of West Birmingham has some connection via friends/family to both Trusts.
We invited staff and women to attend, either in person or virtually. In person, there will be delicious food provided by some of West Birmingham’s black-owned restaurants, and the venue is a black-operated project space.
It is a pre-cursor event to a Black Health Matters Maternity Summit which will be held in West Birmingham in the spring.
Background: The elements that have supported its creation are the following:
- Black History Month (BHM)
- Lack of trust in black community for health care providers.
- Significantly higher proportion of black mothers and babies die in childbirth.
- Reasons for the above are quoted here from various sources*
- Black Health Matters, an national organising group, has a researcher/leader who is a W B’ham resident and requested support from the West B’ham Maternity Voices Partnership (MVP), and subsequently to its sub group, the ‘Maternity Action Group’ which took this on as a project to support during BHM.
To address this, we want to offer a local version of cultural competency training for staff—we hope this output will be offered to all staff caring for women in West B’ham (GPs, Hospitals, Community services) which includes Primary and Secondary Care.
While we are essentially co-producing this training with women and the attending staff, we are doing this through a focus group—a listening session which will translate into what women would like staff to hear, learn and understand about how they want care delivered, and why it is important for black women.
We are not communicating at the outset that we are developing ‘cultural competency training’ as that is NHS speak. Rather we are saying we are listening to women to ensure what they tell us is amplified to staff so they listen, understand, reflect and change practice to ensure their care is responsive to individual women’s needs! ‘Personalised care.’
Organisationally, this project feeds into the following strands of governance:
- BCC’s Public Health-led cross-organisational Infant Mortality Task-force
- West Birmingham Integrated Care Partnership Maternity Action Group, a joint working group of the two Local Maternity and Neonatal Systems in the Midlands bringing together service from City & Sandwell, B’ham Women’s, Heartlands, Good Hope, Solihull and BCHC Trust’s health services.