Midwifery services reshaped for Richmondshire mums-to-be

The Heather Team (left to right) Aimee Peacock, Holly Thorpe, Sam Welford, Clare McMann, Karen Roberts and Emma Corcoran (plus Tracey Wright, not pictured)

Midwifery teams are reshaping the way maternity services are delivered across Hambleton and Richmondshire.

South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is rolling out a new way of working that sees the same midwives caring for mums-to-be before, during and after their baby’s birth.

The continuity of carer initiative sees a small team of midwives following pregnant women through every step of their journey, building strong relationships with them and their families and providing seamless support from booking through to labour and postnatal care.

For the first time midwives are working across the whole maternity division – following each mum-to-be rather than staffing a unit, supporting women through their whole journey.

This means women will always have a midwife that they know and trust, rather than seeing a different face at every appointment.

Women registered with GP surgeries in the TS3 postcode area were first to benefit from the scheme in October.

Following its success the initiative is now being rolled out to all mums-to-be in Hambleton and Richmondshire who will be cared for by the Friarage Hospital’s continuity of carer team – The Heather Team – which officially launched this week.

Tracey Smith, Friarage Maternity Centre and community midwife manager, said: “The Heather Team will be providing antenatal, intrapartum and postnatal care to women living in the local area who plan to birth at the Friarage Maternity Centre.

“They are all incredibly excited to be starting on this journey.

“Knowing their midwife means pregnant women are able to build a relationship with them. They can explore how they feel about pregnancy and birth, discuss and plan for their individual choices, knowing that their midwife will provide them with the information they need to make informed decisions about their care, and be supported in their choices.

“The evidence shows that women who receive care from a known midwife, or small team of midwives, throughout their pregnancy, birth and in the first few weeks with their new baby not only have a more positive experience, but are more likely to have a spontaneous birth and less likely to need an epidural, an episiotomy or instrumental birth.”

The continuity of carer model will continue to be gradually rolled out across the trust to benefit all local mums-to-be.