IN-DEPTH: MATERNITY CARE
complications such as diabetes; women pregnant with twins or triplets; women from out of our area; and women with uncomplicated pregnancies who want to give birth in our birth centres. The impacts have been very positive so far. “I think the continuity of care improvements are fantastic,” says Louise Frost, screening lead and matron for fetal medicine and the antenatal clinic at St Mary’s Hospital. “Women get to know the team of midwives looking after them, and we’re able to co-ordinate their care
we will organise scan, blood test, midwife and obstetric appointments all on the same day.”
Cluny Wiecki, multiples team midwife, agrees: “Midwifery support can empower women pregnant with twins and triplets to prepare to be mothers.
Whether our patient has a natural delivery or an elective C-section, we want to make sure she is prepared for delivery, breastfeeding and caring for her babies.” are meeting the challenge with passion and pride.
“Both birth centres rolled out this model in January,” says Susan Barry, birth centre matron. “This is the gold standard of midwifery care. The stronger relationships.”
BETTER INFORMATION Patients also said they struggled to get consistent information, so the early adopters programme team set out to develop a package of information and a personal care plan that could be used at all units across north west London.
Arabic, Gujarati, Polish and Punjabi. Maternity voice partnerships – patient- feedback – have been established for each trust. Feedback from Imperial’s group, which launched in early 2018, has already sparked changes on our wards, including improvements to physical spaces and better consistency of advice.
The cornerstone is the ‘mum & baby’ app, launched in November 2018, which contains information about each local unit to support women as they decide where to have their baby. It also includes a digital personal care plan and comprehensive information about pregnancy, birth and postnatal care. Clinicians from each of our local maternity units meet regularly to review and update information in the app, ensuring that all local parents-to-be have access to the latest information to help navigate pregnancy and postnatal booklets that are available in English,
ACCELERATING IMPROVEMENTS Additional improvements in our maternity services include speeding up discharges from the Edith Dare ward at Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea and improving signage at both hospitals. A series of ward and unit moves have also reduced lone working for overnight As the early adopters programme comes to a close, our ‘antenatal big room’ is looking to build on what’s already been achieved. Now in its second year, the weekly big room where possible, patients – to tackle a variety of challenges across the maternity service. The team is currently mapping the journey and testing a new online self-referral form that aims to improve access to the
“I would hope that within two years, we’re providing continuity of care to the majority of our patients,” Scott says. “And I hope that, across north west London, all units are providing a more consistent service, so patients will be able to access the same high quality care no matter where they go.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION
The antenatal big room meets every Thursday at 13.00 in the Duke of Sussex Charlotte’s & Chelsea Hospital – all are welcome to attend.
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