The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust are this week introducing three new ‘Continuity of Carer’ teams, to deliver a more personalised service to new mothers and their families, with each pregnant mum to receive her own dedicated midwifery team and the reassurance of a midwife she knows present at the birth.
Continuity of carer, also known as one-to-one midwifery, is care provided throughout a woman’s pregnancy, birth and the early parenting period from one midwife or a small group of midwives.
The Trust have created three new midwifery continuity of carer teams for their Wakefield, Dewsbury and Pontefract hospitals, providing antenatal, birth and postnatal care and offering new mothers a consistent and unparalleled level of support.
These new teams have been introduced in response to the recommendations from the National Better Births Review (2016), which aims to improve outcomes of maternity services in England over a five year period.
National evidence shows that women who receive continuity of care through their pregnancy are:
- 16% less likely to suffer pregnancy loss and 19% less likely to lose their baby before 24 weeks
- 24% less likely to experience pre-term birth
- 15% less likely to require regional analgesia
- 16% less likely to have an episiotomy.
The continuity of carer model has been shown to offer major benefits for mothers and children including significant reduction in miscarriages and pre-term births.
Yvonne Rowlan, Head of Midwifery - Families and Clinical Support Services, at The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, said; “By introducing a more personal approach to maternity services, we can offer better support to new mothers so they can enjoy this very special time in their lives.
“We want every family to have a positive maternity experience, and ensuring a consistent community and acute midwifery team are available who can get to know parents personally, answer their questions, and offer them useful information will help to support a healthy pregnancy, birth, and enhanced postnatal care.
“We look forward to hearing the feedback from the first mums who are cared for as part of our new service.”
Continuity of care for mothers to be was committed to in the NHS Long Term Plan, published in January 2019.
Photo: Two of the new Continuity of Carer teams - Homebirth team and the Florence Nightingale Team with senior staff from Maternity services.