New mothers in Torbay and South Devon will be cared for by the same midwife throughout their pregnancy, labour and post-natal period under a new scheme.
Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust Maternity Services are introducing new, smaller teams of midwives, which will guarantee each mother a named midwife to co-ordinate care throughout their pregnancy and birth.
The aim is to improve the safety and health of the mother and baby and to provide the best possible birth experience by providing seamless care throughout antenatal, labour and birth as well as visiting mothers at home after their baby is born. The move follows NHS England guidance.
Rachael Glasson, Head of Midwifery and Gynaecology said: “The Trust’s overwhelming priority is always the health and safety of the mother and baby and we have an excellent record of care. We already provide this continuity of care through a named midwife.
“However, we are always looking to innovate and implement best practice whenever we can, so we have introduced new smaller teams where mothers have full personal care and are familiar with each team member.
“Research has shown that this continuity of care by small teams of named midwives has reduced pre-term births, hospital admissions and the need for intervention during labour.”
Teams comprise eight midwives and two maternity support workers to provide the following services:
· mothers-to-be will be cared for by team midwives who will aim to provide all of their care.
· mothers-to-be will have a named midwife who will provide most of their care.
· women will receive details of team members from their first appointment.
· all team members will try and meet women during their pregnancy.
· once in labour, women will usually be cared for by their named midwife or, if unavailable, by a member of their team.
New mother Gemma Plumridge, of Torbay, praised her designated Midwife Jenny Pinnegar for her care before, during and after her daughter Sienna was born last Friday. Sienna was overdue and Gemma had complications during her labour.
Gemma said: “Having a midwife that you know is very reassuring, especially through pregnancy and during birth and after having Sienna. It gives me confidence seeing Jenny. She is not only an excellent midwife, but it also relaxed me during what has been a stressful time and that helps the whole process and if I’m less stressed I’m sure it calms Sienna. All my care has been really good at Torbay Hospital.”
Jenny, from the Torview Maternity Team, said: “We’ve had good feedback about our smaller teams already from women. They said seeing the same midwife has made them feel more comfortable and gives them confidence. This confidence partly stems from me and the other midwives knowing the clinical history of the women under our care.”
Pregnant women will be seen at either a GP surgery, children centre or a community hospital. Labour care will be provided at a location chosen by mothers-to-be, including their own home and hospital. Following discharge from hospital or after a home birth, mothers will be seen at home or at a community hub by a team midwife or a maternity support worker.