Liverpool JMU Commission to seek views of mothers in Derry

Professor Valerie Fleming.
Professor Valerie Fleming.

Local pregnant women and women with babies and young children who have faced difficulty accessing antenatal and postnatal services are being asked by a UK-wide commission to help change existing healthcare policies.

Liverpool Health Commission, an initiative of Liverpool John Moores University, is visiting Derry next week on Tuesday, 14 and Wednesday 15 January, and the commissioners would like women in the North West to share their thoughts on how access to services could be improved, with the overall aim of shaping future healthcare policy. Derry is one of only seven areas across the UK where the Commission will be visiting.

LHC is currently investigating the first 1,000 days of life – encompassing conception to 24-months-old - recognised as the key period in human development when the foundations for optimum health, growth and neurodevelopment are established. While free antenatal care in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland has seen some of the lowest mortality and morbidity rates in the world, evidence shows some pregnant women and mothers of young children still have difficulty accessing appropriate healthcare.

Professor Valerie Fleming, Academic Lead for Liverpool Health Commission, said: “Infant deaths in England and Wales have shown a disturbing rise recently, particularly in the most deprived areas. Our aim is to therefore conduct a series of critical and hard-hitting inquiries to uncover any issues which may have contributed to this rise.

“Our focus is to find both areas of concern and examples of good practice across the UK. We are visiting various locations, including Derry, to gather information based on the real-life experiences of pregnant women and mothers of young children. Their thoughts and opinions will be used to shape our recommendations to healthcare policymakers.”

Pregnant women or women with babies and young children are encouraged to attend sessions taking place at the Women’s Centre, 5 Guildhall Street, Derry BT48 6BB.

The sessions will run from 10am – 4pm on January 14 and 15. To arrange an appointment or for information, please contact g.m.diver@ljmu.ac.uk or phone 07812 217 169.

For more information go to www.ljmu.ac.uk/liverpool-health-commission