A new way of working at George Eliot Hospital means that mums-to-be can be cared for by members of the same midwife team throughout their whole pregnancy and child-birth journey.
The new ‘Juniper’ team of community midwives care for women during their pregnancy and antenatal care, but are also available to support in the hospital’s delivery suite, allowing consistent personal care.
Having a known midwife throughout the pregnancy, labour, birth and postnatal period has been associated with improved health outcomes for the mother and baby, and also greater satisfaction levels. Research has also shown that 24 per cent of women were less likely to experience pre-term birth from this approach.
Juniper project development midwife, Jayne Benoist said: “Having Juniper midwives on our delivery suite means that the mums who receive care through our caseloads are more likely to be attended at birth by a known midwife.”
“We are her first point of contact in pregnancy and we coordinate and navigate care for the women throughout her pregnancy. We intend to expand this approach further during 2019.”
Community Manager, Bernie Schofield who initiated the project said: “Providing continuity of carer will not only benefit our women but midwives will also achieve a greater sense of job satisfaction.
“Midwives will have the opportunity to use the expert skills from their team of colleagues whilst still being able to provide continuity of care to their women too.”
Juniper was established at the George Eliot Hospital following outcomes from the Royal College of Midwives Implementing Better Births: Continuity of carer guidance recommendations, to improve safety for both mum and baby.
Juniper is one of the ways George Eliot Hospital is contributing to the Government’s national ambition to halve the rates of stillbirths, neonatal and maternal deaths and intrapartum brain injuries by 2030. Continuity of carer is also one of the recommendations included within the NHS Long Term Plan, published in January 2019.
Information was taken from the RCM Position statement on Continuity of midwife-led care and that stats were taken from this study: 4 Sandall J, Soltani H, Gates S, Shennan A, Devane D. (2016). Midwife-led continuity models versus other models of care for childbearing women. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2016, Issue 4. Art. No.: CD004667. DOI: http://ow.ly/UDIS300BKPj
In recent maternity surveys carried out by the Care Quality Commission women also said they received consistent advice, felt listened to and had more confidence and trust in midwives. https://www.cqc.org.uk/sites/default/files/20180130_mat17_statisticalrelease.pdf