The ‘Striving for Excellence in Maternity Care in Hull: A focus on asylum seeking and refugee women’ conference took place in November 2015.

Midwives, social workers, health visitors, educators, student midwives, doulas, and volunteers from third sector organisations from Hull and beyond attended the conference to learn more about the needs and experiences of pregnant and postnatal asylum seeking and refugee women as well as to find out what services are available to them.

There were a varied number of speakers, some from Leeds who spoke about topics in general and others who were specific to Hull, allowing attendees to learn about what was available to them in their local area. Topics covered included the Maternity Stream, FGM and refugee services in Hull, working with interpreters in Hull, refugee mental health, rights and entitlement to health care, domestic abuse and safeguarding. All of the presentations can be found on our Resource page.

The Refugee Council in Hull was successful in securing funding to train local refugee women to speak about their experiences of maternity and health services. Whilst some of the stories were heart wrenching to hear, they were diverse and gave a good insight into how women perceive those who are in a position of authority. One woman spoke of the positive experience she had with her midwife and an interpreter, other accounts highlighted the need for women to access maternity services as early as possible during pregnancy. These experiences gave a good understanding of why women may not go to the GP when they discover they are pregnant, highlighting cultural differences and therefore allowing health professionals to understand some of the choices that women make.

We had a lot of varied feedback from the conference, some positive, some negative and some neutral. We always find the feedback incredibly helpful inorder for us to continue improving and developing the conferences. We are using the feedback from the conference in Hull to develop our next conference which is due to be held in partnership with the University of York in the summer. Keep checking our website or Facebook page for up to date information for this.

Our first Maternity Stream meeting in Hull will take place on the 18th April, 1:30pm -3:30pm at Fenchurch St Children’s centre, Hull HU5 1JF. This meeting will act as a forum for services and AS&R women to discuss barriers they face and how the Maternity Stream can work with them to overcome these. If you would like to find out more or are interested in holding a conference similar to our previous ones please get intouch with Beccca Neaves, the Maternity Stream project manager.


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