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Bradford District and Craven Maternity Voices Partnership – Voluntary Sector Partners Meeting Minutes Friday 25th October 2019

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Maternity Voices Partnership (MVP) Voluntary Sector Partners Meeting

Friday 25th October 2019, 10.00am – 12.00pm at CNet


Present: Aliya Fazil (Co-Chair), Laila Ahmed (CNet), Sara Hollins (BTHFT), Rea Halstead (BTHFT), Maha Alomari (City of Sanctuary), Alison Brown (BSB), Rachael Loftus (AFC), Waheeda Ghafoor (Family Action), Masira Hans (Sharing Voices), Rachael Dennis (NCT), Judith Nevin (NCT)

Apologies: Liz Firth, Yazmin Shah (CNet) Lisa Milne (Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust) Carolyn Sadler (Bradford District Council)


1. Introductions and Matters Arising

Laila spoke about the MVP strategic plan in terms of engaging with health professionals, voluntary community sector and individuals. She explained the VSP meeting is where front line staff feed in their perceptions/thoughts around the interactions they had with individuals within the community. This then directly feeds back into the main meeting.
As part of the third strand on direct engagement, an MVP Postcard had been developed with three key questions to collect individual women’s stories and birth experiences
There was discussion around Grassroots and the handbook was circulated. Alison and Sarah raised the point that they were unsure as to where Grassroots information was fed back to at a service management level. Laila stated that all the information was collected on a regular basis by the CGG, collated into a report and that this was then shared at a strategic level with relevant commissioners and staff.

Suggestions were made about having service users attend the main meetings to feedback and add value. Laila advised MVP was launched in March 2018, The initial aim/objective was to develop the two- strands of meetings. The starting point was an email database of 4 people this is now 95. The main meeting is two hours, quite structured and very formal. Whilst both sets of meetings are open to individual women it may be unlikely to engage women, especially from seldom heard communities.
So as to capture those voices the MVP postcard has been developed with 3 key questions, these will go out across social media FB and Twitter website, and also be taken out to events. EPP team can also attend Womens groups with the postcards and collect their experiences.

Sarah asked if it would be possible for the postcards be promoted on the postnatal wards and at the hospital.


  • SF to provide GR summary feedback report for MVP main meet
  • EPP team drop off postcards and booklets


2. Guest Speaker
Rea Halstead – Infant Feeding Coordinator – Specialist Midwife BRI
Rea fed back that her team have been working towards re accreditation and were working hard to ensure that all staff are up to date with Unicef training. The teams were wanting to provide a consistent message about infant feeding, not just breastfeeding alone. She stressed the importance of bonding and relationships for families to ensure children have balanced emotional stability in the long term.

The training was also aimed towards ensuring that midwives understood the bonding and brain development processes and that initial stage of closeness links with responsive parenting.

They were also Working with BRI ward 30/32 re-admission team to give breast feeding support

An antenatal/ postnatal drop in was set up end of July when Rea came in post. This has a fairly good attendance and good spread of antenatal and postnatal attendees. BSB and NCT Buddies played a key role in assisting and supporting women particularly in helping to manage their expectations, helpful to normalise infant feeding and, give confidence to women to breastfeed in a safe public environment.

Questions raised by the group on the content of the training at the Unicef study days. Rea explained she was currently in the process of writing this:

Day 1 – Bonding brain development and responsivity

Day 2 – Feeding (access and support)

R. Loftus and Little Minds Matters are to be involved in delivering some of the bonding and brain development training to bring it to life, add depth and value. We need to have buy-in from staff re: importance of this and as a consequence, infant feeding and responsive infant feeding will be more attuned to what women feel having bonded with their babies antenatally rather than a tick box or something thought of after the birth.


3. Strategic Theme Flipchart Sheets


Bradford Breastfeeding Buddies. – Data showing issues.

Seldom Heard Groups

Encourage dads to be more involved and integrated into maternity services.

Having an integrated approach and using community venues where possible

Single parents with no support and vulnerable children within maternity services settings, clarity on safeguarding + boundaries for professionals in terms of responsibility and accountability.

How do we identify/access those individuals falling through the net?

Pregnant women accessing support beforehand – ante-natal and breastfeeding clinics.

Sometimes a lack of informed consent due to language barriers.

Occasionally DV and cultural challenges interpreting with statuary services-thresholds etc.

Service users being afraid that there may be cost implication in accessing services. Lack of clarity around services and some anxiety around perceived charges.

Perinatal Health

Perinatal period-increase to 2 years
ACE’s increased trauma informed workforce and communities. Access to services- some venues not accessible with young children.


4. Grassroots

Laila explained Grassroots is a tool for the CCG’s which brings together feedback from local people on their experiences of health and well -being services – and is not a complaints system. The handbook/ guide for anyone working in the voluntary and community sector was handed out

Page 8 on the guide on the different ways to contribute was shared


5. Sharing News and Good Practice
Maha talked about pregnant women who have debts and are being targeted by debt collectors. She explained there is a service available for these women to assist them in becoming debt free. The service writes out to all the creditors on behalf of the women with an agreed offer of payment

Rachel and Aliya will start to look for volunteers for Walk the Patch activity at BRI Alison shared info on Better Start Baby Week 2020 and the launch event taking place on Monday 4th November at Mercure Hotel. Members were asked to spread the word. Highly recommended was a Mark Harris Talk around Dads and Babies on Tuesday 5th November.

Aliya shared that MVP was hosting the Birth Stories Café on 6th November, where three mums would be sharing their different birthing experiences.
Masira mentioned upcoming event, Resilient Communities (Better Start Bradford) on the Wednesday 6th November and Masculinity &Mental Health (Sharing Voices) on the Thursday 21st November.


  • MA to forward information for circulation. Please find attached


6. AOB

Little Minds Matter are running a group called Dads Together. This is targeted at dads with babies aged 0-4years and the focus is on direct engagement with fathers.

Sharing Voices Alongside Better Start Bradford will also be launching a resilient dads campaign next year.


7. Dates and time for MVP Voluntary Sector Partners Group 2020

  • Tuesday 18th February
  • Tuesday 23rd June
Tuesday 20th October
    10:00-12:00pm at CNet Offices

To download the PDF of the Minutes please click the link below

Minutes MVP VSPG 25.10.19