#MatExp #WhoseShoes Co-production

So what is #WhoseShoes #MatExp all about?

#MatExp is a powerful social movement which has been running since 2014 and was officially endorsed at NHS Change Day in March 2015. 

The campaign’s aim is to collaboratively collate good practice projects or examples which have improved maternity care using the Whose Shoes?® approach.

Let's start with an overview of the ‘Whose Shoes’ initiative along with some examples where it has been used in maternity.

Since the London pilot workshops in 2014, Whose Shoes?® maternity experience workshops have been held in 85 maternity units across the country, many holding multiple events around different topics (14 at Lewisham and Greenwich!). 

The use of the Whose Shoes board game, incorporating the lived experience of families and staff through crowdsourced scenarios and poems, sparks detailed conversations on every aspect of maternity care and results in the co-production of solutions. 

Maternity teams have found it a successful way to involve staff of all levels as well as families using services, to jump start

improvement in a relaxed and enjoyable setting. 

A wide range of important topics have been explored including Continuity of Care, smoking in pregnancy, perinatal mental health, pregnancy loss, postnatal care to name but a few. 

The board game works as a catalyst to re-energise staff by valuing their ideas and giving them ‘permission’ to try out solutions.

   This key post was written by Leigh Kendall,  mum to Hugo who sadly died aged 35 days was, reflects on her experience and the 'Nobody's  Patient' philosophy which underpins the Whose Shoes #MatExp workshops -

Florence Wilcock and Gill Phillips, co-founders of #MatExp, chat about #MatExp on The Obs Pod and find the entire podcast collection here.

Why did units decide to take part in the programme?

Some of the workshops have been organised and encouraged on a regional level, such as S.W England, SHIP cluster, West Midlands, and the East of England. Some workshops have been undertaken as part of national endeavours – e.g. National Bereavement Care Pathway work with Sands UK - and some have been instigated by the individual maternity unit itself, sometimes via the Patient Experience team.  Maternity units have been drawn in to organise a workshop having seen the success of such work in other units and hearing the enthusiasm from people who have attended. Units are supported to connect with each other to encourage cross fertilisation of ideas and build supportive networks. Networks are formal and informal, social media has been used to build a community of people interested in improving maternity care through use of the #MatExp hashtag.

The workshops encourage participants to make a pledge at the end of the event and many of these pledges have resulted in innovative quality improvement work. In addition, a graphic record of the workshop is displayed in many units to remind staff of the event, serve as an action plan and spread ideas more broadly than just the delegates who were able to attend and to keep the conversations alive.

What did they achieve?

Achievements are too numerous to mention, ranging from large wholescale change (Alder Hey) to small scale (changing the wording on a risk letter to parents). This blog summarises some of the early evidence This is not simply about listening to women but about working together with women. Rather than ‘You said, we did’ often quoted in a response to patient feedback, we prefer the saying ‘I said, I did’: the women are integral to the improvement work. 

Want to join this campaign?  Inspired? Want to learn more about the benefits of co-production? But don't want to start with a blank piece of paper?

 In the articles, case studies, podcasts, video, poems and blogs shared below you can read, download, watch and listen to best practice real world coproduction. 

And don't forget, pinch with pride, and  please do share your co-production stories with us so we can continue to build the campaign, ideas and resources to inspire others.


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