Mums’ great expectations

Meet the driving force behind the group which makes sure Trust delivers for expectant mothers A MOTHER with a passion for maternity care is calling on other mums to help create a better maternity service for women in Comet country. Louise Gorski-Giles

Meet the driving force behind the group which makes sure Trust delivers for expectant mothers

A MOTHER with a passion for maternity care is calling on other mums to help create a better maternity service for women in Comet country.

Louise Gorski-Giles from Broughton Hill in Letchworth GC chairs the North and East Herts Maternity Services Liaison Committee (MSLC) which aims to improve the service given by the NHS by listening to the needs of women in the area.

The 42-year-old married mother-of-three, who has been involved with the voluntary committee for nine years, said they are in need of advice from mums who have recent experience of East and North Herts NHS Trust's service.


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She said: "The committee needs mothers who have been users of the service to have an input into how the service is developed and run. We want people whose knowledge rests on their experience, people who aren't part of the system.

"For a job I teach ante-natal classes and being involved with the MSLC is something that many people in my position do - you have a natural affinity. I see about 500 women a year. Sometimes you listen to them and they are not having a good experience. I want to give a voice to women in improving their experience.

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"I did have a fantastic experience and was supported by fantastic midwives, so I know the experience can be brilliant, and since having my children I have realised quite how important having support is to being a confident mother.

"We work as a really tight group looking at the running and development of the Trust's services. We look at developments and how practices are going to affect women who use the service, and we also monitor targets and are part of the target setting process."

The MSLC meets every two months at either the Lister Hospital or the QEII in Welwyn Garden City and volunteers are encouraged to give on their own terms.

"They can do as much or as little as they want really," Louise said.

"People can comment on what they hear there, or ask to take stuff home to read and comment later, or join a focus group on a specific area."

"We can ask that certain subjects be looked at. For instance, we can ask the Trust to look at the number of women who are induced - looking at how and why.

"We are also looking at plans for the new maternity unit at Lister. All the inpatients from the QEII will be coming to Lister and we are looking at how that is going to affect parents. We have input into how that is designed, looking at what beds are going into what rooms, what staffing models are used, and trying to attain the golden rule of one midwife for one woman.

"You have also got things that are on the national agenda - increasing the number of births without complications, giving women more choice. We know that lots of women want a choice of where they give birth - at hospital, at home, in a birthing pool. From my experience lots of women want some input into what is happening to them. They want some part in it, not just to be told what they are having.

"The whole point of this group is so that there's never just one opinion present.

"It's everybody's input, which is why the group is so important."

Mums interested in getting involved can go along to a free and informal lunch at the Rowan Room in the Education Centre at Lister Hospital from noon until 1pm on November 10.

To find out more call 01707 369776 or email

enquiries@herts-pcts.nhs.uk

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