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Babies, children and young people

Read about our work with babies, children and young people (BCYP)

Babies, children and young people strategy workshop

In the lead up to the BCYP strategy workshop in November 2022, a number of sessions took place with partners across the system to understand children’s health priorities, building on existing work and conversations over the last 18-24 months. The workshop saw more than 200 attendees, and we continue to engage with our 600 strong stakeholder list with a fortnightly BCYP newsletter.

Equity and equality strategy and action plan

The maternity equity and equality strategy and action plan was published in December 2022. This piece of work saw engagement with over 1000 women and pregnant people and their families, as well as maternity advocates, via online surveys, face to face interviews and focus groups. This engagement was particularly focused on women from Black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds and those living in the most deprived areas as detailed in the NHSE guidance. The engagement work was led by Healthwatch across all north east London boroughs and supported by Maternity Mates. The full report, summary report and plan on a page have been shared with stakeholders and presentations have been delivered to several groups, from provider collaboratives to faith-based community events.

Infant feeding strategy

A working group has been established to understand service provision across boroughs and identify areas of inequity. This information will inform an infant feeding strategy to ensure equitable support is offered for all women and pregnant people.

Baby Buddy App

The Baby Buddy app is a free pregnancy and parenting app, used nationally, but with commissioned local content for north east London (NEL) users. Localisation in NEL was launched in February 2022, and in the first year there has been over 11,000 registrations. Localisation is used to share content from maternity units, public health specialists, maternity Clinical Leads, the Local Maternity and Neonatal System and local authorities regarding babies’ health.

Local content shared includes:

A new section on the Baby Buddy app, Safer Beginnings, was launched in January 2023. Content in this section looks at consent and choice, recognising domestic abuse, female genital mutilation, understanding stress responses and Emotional Safety Plans.

We are working with the developers to explore options for translating pelvic health videos into multiple languages as part of our pelvic health service improvement work. This work could expand into other areas, funding dependant.

Asthma task and finish group

Two projects are currently underway regarding children and young people with asthma:

  • The air pollution project focuses on sharing resources and training with clinical staff regarding the impacts of air pollution, specifically for children with asthma, so they are empowered to have these conversations with children and their families. All resources are on GP systems and on the Air Pollution webpage. Next steps include creating and translating an animated video to share with families and working with community pharmacy on promoting this information with families through leaflets and quality conversations. Funding dependant.
  • The Digital Health Passport is an asthma management app designed for young people to better manage their own condition. With information on air pollution, medication reminders and access to their asthma care plans, funding was awarded from NHS England for a national roll out with north east London being the lead area. Communications will be produced by North East London Integrated Care Board, Digital health Passport and Digital First.

Working on these two projects together helps create a wider asthma message in line with the National Asthma Care Bundle.

Maternity Choice engagement

Following the maternity equity and equality engagement, further work to understand what influences where people choose to receive their maternity care was undertaken by Healthwatch and Maternity Voices Partnerships (MVPs) in February 2023. An online survey was available to all women and pregnant people in north east London (NEL) and face to face interviews took place in antenatal clinics at all NEL maternity units and some children’s centres. Over 400 responses were collected. and the Download the report.

Pelvic health experience workshop

We are working with pelvic health physios as part of a newly funded pelvic health service improvement project, an in-person workshop was held in March 2023 with 12 local stakeholders, including local women and patient experience midwives. The workshop was used as a listening exercise to better understand experiences of those who have used services in the past 12 months and is supported by an ongoing survey promoted by midwives, physios and wider stakeholders.

Prepayment Prescription Certificates (PPCs) for care leavers

We have been working with all Local Authority Leaving Care Teams to increase the health offer for care leavers to include free prescriptions. This work is in direct response to feedback from care leavers and their concerns around paying for prescriptions after turning 18 years old. From April 2023, we will be working with Healthwatch to facilitate engagement sessions with care leavers, care experienced young people and Leaving Care Teams to evaluate the PPC offer and discuss ideas and expectations around the care leavers health compact.

Youth engagement workshop

In July 2022, we hosted an engagement session with 15 youth advisors to understand what matters to young people about healthcare. The interactive session provided an opportunity for young people to discuss what is important to them, and their peers, regarding health and social care. They talked about transparency of information and better communication between young people and clinicians, improved access to services and better understanding of how to access them, fuller conversations around sexual health to help remove stigma, privacy and confidentiality, and respect and compassion for diverse needs and identities.

Maternity Voices Partnership (MVP)

We are working with MVP Chairs, maternity commissioners and maternity unit staff to increase engagement with local MVPs, co-ordinate in person engagement events at local children centres, and increase ways to hear feedback from women and pregnant people following their maternity experience.

Independent Senior Advocate for Maternity

Recruiting for a new maternity Independent Senior Advocate role, as part of an NHS England pilot, to lead advocacy for women with poor maternity experiences across north east London. This role will work with Maternity Voices Partnerships (MVPs), as well as other maternity voluntary and community sector stakeholders, such as Healthwatch and Maternity Mates, to establish regular feedback from all Places (boroughs) and ensuring collective themes are fed back at a north east London level, with patient advocate representation at the Local Maternity and Neonatal System Board to ensure women’s voices are heard.

East London Women’s Experience Forum

This monthly forum continues to provide an opportunity for maternity staff and maternity advocates from community and voluntary organisations to ask questions, hear information and updates from each of the NEL maternity units and share experiences of those women and pregnant people they advocate for or represent.