Personalised care for mums-to-be in west Suffolk

West Suffolk Hospital is rolling out more personalised care for expectant mums Picture: GREGG BROWN

West Suffolk Hospital is rolling out more personalised care for expectant mums Picture: GREGG BROWN

Mums-to-be in west Suffolk will benefit from having the same small midwifery team from pregnancy right through to after their baby is born as changes begin to be rolled out.

Women cared for by the maternity teams based at West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds will benefit from the new Better Births approach, which focuses on building a strong relationship between the mum-to-be and her midwife.

The changes also mean midwives will be more familiar with each mum’s personal circumstances, making care smoother and reducing the need for women to answer repeat questions during appointments and visits.

MORE: Pregnant mums assured of Better Births as maternity service changes launchedIt is initially being offered to expectant mums from selected locations including Bury St Edmunds and Sudbury, or where they have previously had Caesarian sections, and will be rolled out more widely next year.

The move is backed by the local Maternity Voices Partnership, which acts as a voice for mums-to-be within the NHS.

Partnership chair Shauna Tate said: “One of the key pieces of feedback we hear from women is that getting to know a midwife makes a big difference to your overall experience.

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“I am therefore delighted that West Suffolk Hospital has introduced these new teams and are paving the way for other teams to follow suit.”

MORE: Have the rules on birthing partners and maternity department visitors changed during lockdown?Head of midwifery Karen Newbury said: “The evidence shows that women who have a midwife they are familiar with when in labour are less likely to need interventions during pregnancy and birth, and are more likely to be satisfied with their care.

“There are advantages for midwives too. For many this ‘continuity of carer’ goes back to the way they envisaged providing midwifery care for women: providing holistic care throughout the whole transition from pregnancy to parenthood.

MORE: Hospital bosses say maternity service is ‘now in line with national guidance’“This is a fantastic opportunity to make the difference that the evidence tells us is possible, improving outcomes for those women and babies who receive care along this model and that is what this is all about.”

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‘Continuity of carer’ in midwife teams is a key recommendation of NHS England’s Better Births report and aims to make maternity care more personalised, informed and safe.

The programme will initially be offered to women who choose to deliver at the West Suffolk Hospital and either have had two previous Caesarean sections or live in: Bury St Edmunds town, Howard, Priors, Westley, Mildenhall Estates, or Woolpit area; Thetford town, Brandon area; Newmarket, Red Lodge, or Mildenhall; Sudbury town or surrounding villages.

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