Agenda and draft minutes

Women's Forum - Tuesday 27th July 2021 11.00 am

No. Item


Welcome & Apologies pdf icon PDF 396 KB

Additional documents:


Apologies were received from Cllr Anna King (Co-Chair), Rachel Duncan, Annabel Pickering, Felicity Watson and Alex Rex.



Minutes of the Last Meeting


The Minutes of the last meeting were agreed as a true record.



Independent Advisory Group


Unfortunately no one presented for this item. It was advised that Steve Bedford is retiring and members believe Rachel Handford  will be attending in future.



Perinatal and Maternal Mental Health Services


Carly Galpin from the Perinatal and Maternal Mental Health Service presented to the forum.  The team have been in existence for 3 years, growing from 2 to 35 staff over the years.

·         20% of women experience mental health conditions during pregnancy and/or after birth from mild, which generally resolved by itself, to severe.  This could be anything up to 12 months after the birth.

·         20% risk of mental health issues during pregnancy is higher than physical risk.

·         The service work with moderate to severe cases.

·         During pregnancy up to 2 years old is the most important time for an infant’s development.  Infant brain development will be affected by how the mother is.

·         Any woman who has had previous experience of mental health issues has a 90% chance of a relapse.

·         Midwife will be asking specific questions on mental health history to find out the best place to signpost each individual.

Red Flag Presentation:-

1.       Significant change in mental status or new symptoms.

2.       New thoughts or acts of violent self-harm

3.       New and persistent expressions of incompetency as a mother or feel estranged from the infant.

Meet with consultant to get evidence based information so the pregnancy can be planned especially around medication.  Stopping medication is not always the best course of action and can have a detrimental effect.

Significant development for the service is to support women who have a miscarriage, still birth, birth trauma or fear of the birth as this did not fit in.

Maternal OCD, suddenly realising all the risks for the infant is normal, but it can become overwhelming and disabling and requires specialist support.  

9,000 babies are born in the county in the year, 5,000 of those are born in Northampton.  The target for referrals of those 9,000 is 65 a month.  Currently receiving about 100 referrals with 50 of those  being seen by the service.  The others are signposted elsewhere.

It is a multi-discipline team including a Social Worker who is also the Safeguarding Lead.

Q&A followed

Poorer outcome for BAME women and pregnancy

Carly responded that the poor outcomes were more associated with physical rather than mental health.  Black women were 4  times, and Asian women 3 times more likely to have physical issues whilst white women were more likely to have mental health issues.  Carly had noticed a disproportionate number of teachers – probably due to them being in control and able to plan their work lives, then they have their world turned upside down!  Similarly with Police officers.  One area of concern was that women who did not have settled immigration status tended to be referred at a very late stage.  The service was open to all, whatever their status was, and the outcomes are going to be much better the earlier they were referred.


Have the Team undertaken any equality and anti-bias training

Equality training has been done, anti-bias training currently being undertaken and LGBTQ training to follow.


Is there any support (website/information) for those who have suffered  ...  view the full minutes text for item 11.


Northamptonshire Fire Service - Recruitment and Positive Action Events


Lauren Fitzgerald presented this item and explained that the Fire & Rescue Service was looking to recruit more full time firefighters early next year.  They were pushing Positive Action to broaden the diversity of the workforce as it was predominantly white British males.  They were encouraging people to attend ‘have a go’ days and trying to dispel myths.  Feedback was needed from communities and ideas to encourage young people from different backgrounds to be interested.  Lauren stated she felt she had the best job in the world but it wasn’t for everybody.

The retained service was not always recruiting for full time, you have to wait for the process to come up.  It consists of:-

·         Psychological tests to how you understood information and your situational awareness.  There was support for those with dyslexia and they are looking at how to support those who had English as a second language.

·         Physical tests – you need a certain amount of strength.  The have a-go-days were at fire stations which made risk assessing easier and all the equipment is there.

·         Interviews

·         Medical exam

It is a long process and takes  about 3 months, possibly longer if there are  a lot of applicants.  Lauren stated they were not very strong when it came to feedback to those who had not been successful or on what to improve before they tried again.  Successful recruits then undertook 12 weeks of training.

Positive Action tended to make the men feel uncomfortable as they felt it was a tick box exercise and it was difficult to get the balance right.  Lauren works with 5 males who are very supportive and the culture is improving.  However, with the Women’s Network she was leading on, she has concerns as not all experiences were the same and they needed to offer more support for new recruits.  The Chief and Assistant Chief are very keen and supportive and are  trying to change the culture from the top down.

It was suggested that any recruitment material could come to the group for comments and also more Cadet sessions as they filled up very quickly.



BAME Sub group Update


The minutes of the last meeting had already been circulated to the Forum along with the Terms of Reference.

Issues raised included those delivering the services were not attending, poor attendance generally and the thought that the dates were not being circulated in time, no feedback from the NBV/FGM group.  Action: Make sure the services were being specifically invited.  All the dates had been circulated with the March Minutes – the next meeting is:-

11am 7 September – joining details below.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 889 5019 4078

Passcode: 460690

Members asked that the BAME subgroup could be before speakers on the agenda.



Items for the Next Agenda


Superintendent Sarah Johnson – Northants Police response re violence against Women and Girls.


Date of Next Meeting

11am Tuesday 28 September 2021


11am Tuesday 28 September 2021 on Teams.  The link for the meeting will be on the Agenda when it is published.