A national vision to give pregnant women access to more joined-up maternity care before, during and after the birth of their child is being wholeheartedly embraced in Northamptonshire.
The ‘Better Births’ report (2016) and initiative was the result of the National Maternity Review commissioned by NHS England. This set out plans to improve maternity services across the country with the aim of reducing stillbirths, neonatal deaths, maternal deaths and brain injuries during birth by 50% by 2030.
In Northamptonshire there are several areas of work in progress and lots of exciting projects going on to deliver on the objectives of the Better Births report, some of which have been highlighted in previous editions of Partnership Update. Another of these projects is ‘Continuity of Carer’, which aims to ensure that by 2021 most pregnant women will know the midwife who is at their birth. To have continuity throughout pregnancy, birth and the days following is known to improve outcomes.
Kettering General Hospital has embraced this challenge by introducing a ‘planned caesarean section team’ with the intention of not only improving the maternity experience for women but also providing the opportunity to have meaningful discussions around their choices during pregnancy. A second Continuity of Carer team has also just been launched in Corby and will be evaluated later on in 2019.
Northampton General Hospital’s home birth team is now also offering continuity to women who choose to use the Barratt Birth Centre at NGH, particularly those who have had a previous traumatic experience of birth. Two new Continuity of Carer teams will be launched at NGH in November.