Thursday, 27 April 2017

Be your own inner champion

This fabulous little video has just been released. The information below is the news release from the team. I've reproduced it in full because I think it is so important and such a good move to remove barriers to women speaking up about what concerns them.

What do you think about it?

[Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care South London (CLAHRC South London)]   [National Institute for Health Research]

26 April 2017

King's Improvement Science film at heart of campaign to empower pregnant women to voice health concerns

An animated film developed as part of a King’s Improvement Science [KIS] project is at the heart of a new campaign launched today by Tommy’s charity, King’s College London and the BabyCentre website to empower pregnant women to overcome fears about speaking to professionals about their health concerns.

Each day in the UK, 10 babies are stillborn and 152 babies are born preterm. A body of research led by Jane Sandall, professor of social science and women’s health at King’s College London, and lead of the CLAHRC’s maternity and women’s heath theme, has shown that women’s knowledge about their own changing body is invaluable in contributing to safer pregnancies, but that they often struggle to voice their instincts and concerns.

The ‘Always ask’ campaign centres around two animations (a longer and shorter version) developed out of a project that builds on Jane Sandall’s research, which was led by Dr Nicola Mackintosh, formerly a King’s Improvement Science fellow at King’s College London (now at the University of Leicester). ‘The Re-Assure’ project brought together women, health professionals, a writer and a digital artist to create an animation that follows a pregnant woman through her pregnancy journey. It encourages pregnant women who are worried about their health, or their baby’s health, to take their concerns seriously and ask for help.

The film was developed with the help of 34 women who have previously experienced serious complications in pregnancy or birth. It was made with the support of a £10,000 grant from King’s College London’s Cultural Institute, and co-produced by the women, Nicola Mackintosh, KIS fellow James Harris, writer Claire Collison and animator Patrick Beirne. Professor Jane Sandall was also involved. Fifteen staff – midwives and obstetricians – from maternity services at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust contributed.

Trusting your own instincts in pregnancy is an important theme of the ‘Always ask’ campaign. Pregnancy information often focuses on specific red flag signs and symptoms such as stomach pain or bleeding. Dr Nicola Mackintosh said, ‘Our research has shown that many women who seek help for concerns about potential complications in pregnancy and the postnatal period, do not present with ‘classic’ warning signs and as a result, struggle to have their concerns taken seriously. The wider literature suggests that a change in attitude is often what is required, rather than just the provision of information about specific red flags.’

This is why the ‘Always ask’ campaign does not talk about specific symptoms; instead it encourages women to trust their instincts and ‘look out for changes that don’t feel right’. It also gives practical tips on appointments, getting listened to and being taken seriously.

The ‘Always ask’ campaign has been endorsed by the Royal College of Midwives, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, and NHS England.

 Read more about the animation in the King’s Improvement Science 2016 annual report

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