Today is NHS Change Day! 11 March 2015
I will be spending the day with Florence Wilcock, my #MatExp ‘partner in crime’ at Kingston Hospital with a great programme of activities planned. Helen Bevan and the NHS Change Day film crew are coming to see what we are up to. We are taking part in the 12 hour Changeathon. Comfort zones are long gone.
In some ways it is the sparkling highlight of our #MatExp maternity experience campaign. But in so many ways, it feels refreshingly like just another *very exciting day* in our growing grassroots social movement. They seem to be coming along now like the proverbial London buses. Only yesterday, award-winning journalist Pippa Kelly published a fantastic blog about #MatExp and NHS Change Day – and basically me.
I felt hugely honoured.
#NHSChangeDay has added extra impetus. A focus. A bit of fun.
It would have been very difficult to do things like the ‘lithotomy challenge’ without this national context of people being encouraged to try something outside their normal experience, seeing new perspectives – and of course such actions are a perfect ‘fit’ with my Whose Shoes? approach.
The first men have been brave enough to take up the challenge. Huge thanks to Professor Jim Thornton, Professor of Obstetrics, University of Nottingham, and Matthew Hopkins, CEO of Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals, where we held our 4th workshop (see video below). I will aim to add some more photos as they come in – and also pin on the #MatExp Pinterest board!
Coincidentally today is EDD+! (baby a day overdue!) in terms of when #MatExp was conceived, if we take it from our first phone call to discuss possibilities. But now it feels as if, appropriately, #MatExp has a life of its own. #FabObs Flo and I are like two proud parents watching the baby progress from tentative first steps to independence and hardly believing ‘how quickly they grow up’.
We have been blown away by the passion for positive change, and real action, of the growing band of Mums springing up to lead the campaign. Fantastic blogs are being written, stories shared, new initiatives taken on a daily basis. I would like to curate some of the excellent blogs – and I bet just by mentioning this, someone will step up and do it! 😉
I could post some of the fantastic tweets, but I wouldn’t know where to start. #MatExp has now had over 50 million Twitter ‘impressions’ – and that is just from people actually using the hashtag, whereas most tweets are just spontaneous conversations that build and draw in more and more people. I have wondered if we need a ‘tweet chat’ but again the conversations are happening regularly and spontaneously, so who knows?
Anyway, as part of the day Flo and I have been invited to run a Whose Shoes? session for the Executive Team at Kingston. It has been put together very quickly. Some real scenarios, exploring a real complaint. It is just an hour but I hope we can spark some new ways of thinking.
I realised yesterday that we didn’t have any poems for ‘Poet’s Corner’. I set out to write a couple of short ones – and ended up with one long one – the nature of creativity, I guess.
It sets out some of the things we are doing.
Here it is. Wish us luck!
NHS Change Day – Kingston Hospital
Today at Kingston Hospital
We have exciting news
It’s NHS Change Day
And we’ll be walking in your shoes!
Queen of transformation
Is paying a special visit
To join the conversation.
Some fantastic individuals are giving up their time
Chief Exec Kate Grimes is currently in her prime
But an ‘Age simulation suit’ will help her understand
How it feels to get old and frail
When your body starts to fail
And it is difficult to stand.
Fab Flo the obstetrician
Will be in an awkward position!
Spending an hour in stirrups. As you do.
Her lithotomy challenge
Is challenging the norm.
And, ice bucket style,
Taking Twitter by storm.
Male obstetricians who have perhaps never thought
How they make women feel
Will indeed be taught.
The hard way.
Something you remember. Experiential.
It has so much potential.
Learning how it feels. Making it real.
Let’s all think differently.
Exploring – if we dare
How these very simple actions
Can improve women’s care.
Creator of Whose Shoes?®
11 March 2015
Looking forward to the cake too – thanks Flo’s daughters!