'Small teams' of midwives to look after mums-to-be in Shropshire
Small teams of midwives will look after mums-to-be in Shropshire during their pregnancy and after giving birth, under new plans.
The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH) has introduced the continuity of carer initiative for expectant mums opting for a birth at the Wrekin Midwife Led Unit (MLU), which is based at Princess Royal Hospital in Telford.
It will mean that they have the same people looking after them throughout their pregnancy, and after they have given birth.
It is hoped the consistency will enable the midwives and the mums they are looking after to build up a trusting relationship.
SaTH says it has been proven to lead to better outcomes, and also helps mums-to-be to have a more positive and personal experience.
Becky Havvas, Wrekin community manager at SaTH, which runs the MLU, said: “Continuity of carer means that our mums will be cared for by a team of six to eight midwives, including community and ward-based midwives, from the start of their pregnancy to the finish.
"It means that the mum-to-be will be booked to see someone that she knows.
"The midwives are working hard to improve teams also being present to provide care through labour for families in our care.
“The midwives in the team are able to build up a relationship with the mum-to-be during her journey which is so important as it builds up trust and confidence.
“They will be aware of her history and the choices she has made for her and her baby, so she doesn’t have to keep repeating it at every appointment.
“There may also be mums who need additional support after having their baby, and they might feel they can open up more to a midwife that they have built up a relationship with. It is also a rewarding experience for our midwives too.
“The aim is to improve outcomes and the experience for our mums-to-be. We have only just introduced this but we are definitely starting to hear positive feedback from our mums.”
The introduction of continuity of carer at Wrekin MLU, which also involved the Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin Local Maternity System, follows a Better Births report which set out a vision for maternity services in England that are safe and personalised, and which found that continuity of carer was the single biggest request from women.
Planning is now under way to introduce continuity of carer for mums-to-be opting for home births, and it is hoped to roll it out in January 2020.