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Midwife Tracy’s blazing a patient experience trail

2023-12-29T17:08:32+00:00Friday 29 December 2023|
  • Patient Experience Midwife Tracy Denmade

“To be able to talk to someone about your childbirth experience and know that you’re really being listened to makes such a difference.”

Tracy Denmade is a Patient Experience Midwife at the Manor Hospital – a role that was introduced for the first time at Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust after she made a compelling case for it.

She started the role in July this year and prior to that, as a Community Midwife, she set up Birth Reflections sessions for new parents to be able to discuss any concerns, seek more information or gain a greater understanding of their particular experience.

 “I can honestly say I have the best job and I’m doing something that I am really passionate about,” said Tracy, herself a mother-of-three and a grandmother.

“I think a Patient Experience Midwife’s role can be summed up by the words “What now?”  I am here for those who want to talk about their childbirth experience in the weeks or months that follow, when they have had chance to better process what went on and give them the assurance that they are really being listened to. Some women may have had a traumatic experience, such as an emergency caesarean that they never envisaged having, others may carry feelings of guilt that childbirth didn’t follow the initial plan they had. And the experience of partners is also an important part of this process.

“While giving families the time and space to explain their experience is vital, just as important is the follow up and how I use any learning points they give me to try to influence change. That’s where the “What now?” comes in. We’ve set up a Maternity Patient Experience Group (MPEG) where I give service users’ feedback and I work closely with our Maternity and Neonatal Voices Partnership group too. I also work closely with our Patient Relations & Experience Team here as we collectively, with Maternity Services, look at how we work with the Ockenden review recommendations and our families to enhance our services.”

Tracy, who has worked at the Trust since 2006, said communication was one of the most common themes to emerge from her discussions with new mums, as well as arrangements for partners.

“In some cases, away from the immediate urgency of childbirth, I’ve been able to better clinically explain why certain things happened and this has given parents a much better understanding and acceptance of how events unfolded. I am proud that the role has been introduced here in Walsall and find it extremely rewarding. I also work with some amazing teams who are just as committed to offering our service users the opportunity to talk through their childbirth experience and who want to ensure their voices are heard.”

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