Call the midwife!

Women across North West London are experiencing better births and improved maternity care thanks to a new way of working that provides one dedicated midwife to meet all their needs.

Women across North West London are experiencing better births and improved maternity care thanks to a new way of working that provides one dedicated midwife to meet all their needs.

Mums-to-be are being assigned one midwife who acts as their first point of contact, providing continued care and support throughout their pregnancy, birth and the first few weeks of settling in with baby at home. Each midwife is part of a close-knit team of six who are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week and are available to support mums if their midwife is unavailable or on annual leave. 

This innovative new way of working is called ‘continuity of care’ and follows recommendations from the National Maternity Review Better Births report and feedback from mums in the local area.

The benefits

  • Better quality and consistent care
  • being cared for by a known and trusted midwife throughout all stages of pregnancy, birth and beyond
  • research shows that women and babies have better clinical outcomes, and women are better prepared for birth.

Frances Bussey, new mum of one to baby Alfie, from Hammersmith and Fulham said: “I had a great pregnancy and I was expected to have a low risk birth but didn’t. My midwife responded quickly and reassured me that everything was going to be okay. Even though it didn’t all go to plan, having one midwife and her team assigned to my care made such a difference to my experience. Having your first child is such a big life change, as a new mum I felt a lot more relaxed than I would have done otherwise. I really can’t sing my midwife’s praises enough, we built up such a great relationship and I truly believe she saved this experience for me.”

Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has launched two new teams at both Chelsea and Westminster Hospital and West Middlesex University Hospital – who are now offering one-to-one maternity support to women in this way – just in time for International Midwives Day (Saturday 5 May).

Madoussou Dosso, Midwife at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital said: “I’ve been working in this new team for almost four months. I enjoy working this way because you get to build relationships with the women you are caring for. The real highlight for me is watching these women grow and seeing how they progress with their baby. Being on call can be tiring but it’s also exciting to know that I am going to be there when one of my women gives birth.”

The best part is that midwives benefit too. Through working in a close-knit team they can plan their workload, support each other with decision making and take more time to find out more about the women they are caring for and what they truly want and need.

Natalie Carter, Consultant Midwife for Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said: “This new way of working brings joy to our midwives as you can really take the time to get to know each woman you are taking care of. Life becomes a lot easier because when it’s time for the women to give birth you won’t have to spend time looking at their notes as you will know the woman well already. You get the opportunity to build lasting relationships, work in really close-knit teams and for the women, care is seamless.”  

Across North West London the Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, and the London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust are also introducing a variety of innovative and exciting models to provide women with excellent ‘continuity of care’ that is personalised to their needs and wishes.

Work is on-going to transform our maternity services, paving the way for our ambition that every women will have one-to-one support from a midwife who co-ordinates all of her care needs.

Following on from the success of information booklet ‘After your baby’s birth’ we will soon be extending this great piece of work with ‘Your pregnancy’, a new booklet that provides women with information to help them whilst they are pregnant. We will also be launching a maternity app to showcase all the options available to women when considering where to give birth, the type of birth they would like and the ability to create a personalised plan for their entire pregnancy and birth.

Join us as we celebrate our midwives and the care that they deliver to all new mums this International Midwives Day. The International Day of the Midwife is an opportunity for every midwife to connect with their colleagues in the profession and increase knowledge of what midwives do for the world!

Join in on Twitter @Healthiernwl #Ilovebeingamidwifebecause and Facebook ‘NHS Stay Well to share why you love being a midwife.

For media enquiries please contact Ayesha Baker, Communications Manager at ayesha.baker@nhs.net or 0773 348 4891.

ENDS