Understanding choice for maternity care

NHS North East London want to ensure all women and pregnant people have the best experience when using maternity services. As part of this, we are working with Healthwatch and Maternity Voices Partnerships to better understand the choices women and pregnant people are making when it comes to maternity care. Our engagement aims to understand whether people felt they could make choices about their maternity care and why they chose to have their care in their chosen hospital, birth centre or a home birth.

Through paper and digital surveys, and face to face interviews we’ll engage with women and pregnant people prior to birth, at all five of maternity units in north east London. The feedback and insight collected will be from a range of individuals, looking to all demographics and supporting overcoming language barriers where possible.

The survey can be shared widely and can be access online: Maternity Choice survey

For any questions or further information about the Maternity Choice work, please contact: elhcp.maternity@nhs.net

Funding boost for health and care research in north east London

Work to improve and develop research that benefits the health and wellbeing of communities across north east London has received a major funding boost.

North East London Integrated Care System (NEL ICS) has secured nearly £100,000 of national NHS funding to support the development of a research engagement network.

The new network will drive the work of ICS partners to encourage greater public participation in research across NEL and ensure it reflects the diversity of local communities – helping them tackle health inequalities and shape services around people’s needs.

Dr Victoria Tzortziou Brown, a local GP and Research and Innovation Lead for NEL ICS, said:

“I am delighted NEL ICS has been successful in securing this funding. Our ambition is to increase the numbers and the diversity of people participating in research in north east London as this will ensure it is more representative of our diverse populations, and that our communities are more actively involved in shaping the future of local health and care.

“During the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we saw an increased participation in research that tested different approaches to prevention and treatment, demonstrating what is possible when studies are relevant to patients and the wider public.

“It’s important that any future research agenda is set by those it will impact upon, so it directly addresses the real needs of patients and service users. Establishing a research engagement network provides a unique opportunity to meet this ambition, with the aim of improving the lives of people who live and work in north east London.” 

Development of the research engagement network is being led by NHS NEL Integrated Care Board, working closely with North Thames Clinical Research Network, UCLPartners, Healthwatch and the local voluntary community and social enterprise alliance.

NHS England’s Long Term Plan states an ambition to increase the numbers of people participating in research to one million registering their interest by 2023/24, so the network will play a key role in helping health and care organisations meet this challenge in NEL.

Being part of the ICS Research Engagement Network Development programme, administered by NHS England, will also provide an opportunity for those leading research projects in NEL to share their progress, learning and insights nationally.

Stay safe this Christmas: our staff talk about how to stay safe and protect the NHS

Developing non-clinical staff in general practice

Six locally based, trained practice managers have ‘graduated’ from City and Hackney’s Practice Manager Training Programme.

The practice manager role requires a wide range of skills. Over recent years it has become more complex as primary care has expanded and the health economy becomes more integrated. The old model of ‘learning on the job’ isn’t a sustainable one for the future.

City & Hackney CCG developed a trainee practice managers programme to train people who are equipped to deal with a vastly different role than making sure the bills get paid and looking after the building.

Dr Mary Clarke CBE, Director of Workforce at City and Hackney GP Confederation, has written the first in a new series of blogs about transforming general practice – part of the Next Steps to the Strategic Commissioning Framework, which sets out a new vision for strengthening collaboration across London.

Read Dr Clarke’s blog and watch our video below.

GP careers fair

GP careers fair

GP trainees and medical students are invited to this year’s East London GP careers fair to find out firsthand what it’s like to be a First5 GP in this exciting and diverse part of London.

The fair offers a chance to meet local GPs, London GP Federations, the Local Medical Committee and community education providers and learn about the career pathway options available in east London. Representatives from the Royal College of General Practitioners, NHS Leadership Academy, Health Education England and medical indemnity specialists MDU will also be on hand to answer questions about working in general practice. Attendees can take part in a workshop on clinical leadership, delivered by NHS Leadership Academy or a workshop on medical indemnity, record-keeping and complaints delivered by MDU.

The careers fair takes place from 12-6pm on Tuesday 9 April, at School 21, in Stratford E14 4RZ. Book a place using this Eventbrite link.


First stop community pharmacists

If you are feeling unwell don’t wait for any worries you have to get worse – speak to your local pharmacy team to get advice right there and then.

By following the expert advice of community pharmacists, you can help the NHS help you stay well; prevent an illness getting worse; take the best course of action; and get well again sooner. You don’t need an appointment so it’s a quick and easy way to get the advice and treatment you need.

Local GPs are reminding people that community pharmacists are qualified healthcare professionals, who can offer clinical advice and over the counter medicines to effectively and safely manage a range of minor health concerns, such as coughs, colds, sore throats, tummy troubles, aches and pains and many more.

Community pharmacies in England provide a service to around 1.2 million people every day.

Hemant Patel, secretary of the North East London Local Pharmaceutical Committee, said: “Every pharmacist trains for five years in the use of medicines before they qualify and they are also trained in managing minor illnesses and providing health and wellbeing advice.”

“Don’t wait for minor health concerns to get worse – speak to your local pharmacy team to get advice right there and then. Help us, help you, before it gets worse.”

Dr Sam Everington, Clinical Lead of East London Health and Care Partnership and Chair of Tower Hamlets Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Local pharmacy teams offer a fast and convenient clinical service for minor health concerns with no appointment needed and use of a private consultation room should it be required.

“If symptoms suggest it’s something more serious, pharmacists have the right clinical training to ensure people get the help they need immediately and can refer patients to a GP or A&E where necessary.

Visit nhs.uk/staywell for more information.