Maternity professionals and local mums have celebrated the official launch of a ‘one stop shop’ antenatal and postnatal service at the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch on Thursday 18 October.
The development of the ‘Maternity Hub’ at the hospital sees community and hospital services brought together under one roof, meaning pregnant women are now able to access and receive any care they need – throughout their pregnancy and afterwards – quicker and easier.
Mums-to-be can access community midwives, scanning midwives, antenatal clinic midwives, consultants and specialist advisors who all work together – meaning they can refer women into each other’s services on the same day, and often within just a few hours. Accessing services from the Hub means expectant mothers have a single point of care from as early as six weeks pregnant, from first blood tests to first scans all the way up to the point of delivery.
Lisa Gardner, Senior Midwife and Maternity Hub Team Leader, said: “Our new antenatal clinic opened in 2017 and since then we have been gradually expanding what we can offer from here. The developments are in line with the recommendations laid out in NHS England’s Better Births document which sets out a vision for a modern maternity service that delivers safer, more personalised care for all women and every baby. We are hearing really positive things from our parents-to-be who like that they can access services in one place and often in one visit which is much more convenient.”
“We’re delighted to offer parents more support, more specialised clinics, drop in sessions as this will undoubtedly start to impact our aim of achieving better births for all women in Worcestershire.”
New mum Sarah Harrison, from Redditch, said: “My recent experience at the Hub was the best care I have received during any of my three pregnancies. I was supported through the entire journey amazingly and seeing the same lovely friendly faces every appointment really made it enjoyable and easier.”
New mum Chelsea Lloyd, from Redditch, said: “My first pregnancy was difficult, with lots of different problems but from the start to finish the maternity services at the Alex were absolutely amazing. Every single member of staff within the Hub were all very friendly and totally professional. If I decide to have any more children I would definitely feel at ease and confident that I would be well looked after.”
The Maternity Hub has four consulting rooms, a dedicated phlebotomy room and an additional quiet room available for use by patients awaiting early pregnancy scans or when greater privacy is required during an appointment.
It follows the success of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust’s award-winning Wyre Forest Maternity Hub at Kidderminster Hospital and Treatment Centre, which was the first centre of its kind in the country when it opened in November 2016. The Wyre Forest team won the Innovation Award at the Midlands Maternity and Midwifery Festival Awards earlier this year for their outstanding achievement.
A maternity bereavement midwife who supports Worcestershire parents following the loss of a child has been shortlisted for a national award – and members of the public are now invited to give her their vote. Trudy Berlet, who works at Worcestershire Royal Hospital, has been shortlisted for Midwife of the Year in The Butterfly Awards, following nominations by three separate families who all cited the care and support they received from Trudy as helping them cope with their loss. The red carpet event honours parents who have experienced the loss of a baby, as well as celebrating some of the work done by the people and organisations that provide support to them.
Trudy is also spearheading a fundraising appeal to develop a second dedicated bereavement suite in the maternity department at Worcestershire Royal Hospital, where the Care Quality Commission (CQC) recently noted Maternity Bereavement Care as an area of outstanding practice.
Trudy said: “I was so honoured and surprised to have been nominated and shortlisted for this award. It is so humbling that bereaved parents find time in their most difficult hours to acknowledge others and what they do. “The Butterfly Awards is a beautiful, inspirational ceremony which brings awareness of a topic, which is all too often hidden away.”
Voting is now open and people can vote for Trudy via: https://finleysfootprints.com/trudyberlet
The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony which takes place on Saturday 27 October. To support the Maternity Bereavement Suite appeal visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/worcestershire-maternity-bereavement-suite
Midwives across the county held celebrations today ahead of International Day of the Midwife on Saturday May 5. Hospital and community midwives, and students, from Wye Valley NHS Trust marked the worldwide celebrations by dressing in historic and modern dress, and showcasing their midwifery inspired cake creations as part of The Great Midwifery Cake Off.
An information stand was held in Hereford County Hospital reception where midwives shared information with members of the public and visitors. On the maternity ward each baby’s birth was celebrated with a certificate signed by the midwife in attendance.
Maxine Chong, Head of Midwifery at Wye Valley NHS Trust, said: “In the last ten years, our midwives have delivered around 18,000 babies at Hereford County Hospital and at home. We are delighted to mark this occasion and this year’s international theme ‘midwives leading the way with quality care’. We’re extremely proud of our midwives and midwifery students, their achievements and dedication to provide high quality care for women and their families.
“Midwifery has changed significantly in the last 70 years since the NHS was first launched in 1948 and there have been many innovations and improvements to provide high quality, safe and compassionate care for women and babies. “We offer personalised care for women before, during and after birth, including antenatal education, home births, water births, one to one support around the time of birth, within our maternity ward and in the community, and access to additional specialised support for women choosing to breastfeed, and a breastfeeding app is also available, which can be easily downloaded onto a mobile phone.
“Midwives in Herefordshire benefit from the Trust’s midwifery academy which provides continuous support and training, and last year we introduced cutting edge technology – the lifelike Victoria childbirth simulator, that can be programmed to deliver a baby either naturally, assisted or via caesarean, and provides a fantastic opportunity for all staff that contribute to the safety of mothers and babies.”
Wye Valley NHS Trust secured funding from Health Education England to purchase the simulator ‘Victoria’ of which there are currently only 14 others in the UK.
If you would like to find out more about midwifery as a career or the service provided by midwives visit Royal College of Midwives website www.rcm.org.uk
The Meadow Birth Centre at Worcestershire Royal Hospital marked a new arrival of its own this week, after the centre’s 2000thbaby was born in the unit. Adam Ziembicka became the two thousandth baby to be born in the midwife-led centre at 8:42pm on Friday 10 November. Mum Ela and her husband Leszek, from Evesham, were accompanied by their older son Philip for baby Adam’s birth, who weighed a healthy 8lbs 13oz after a water birth in the Poppy Suite.
Since first opening to expectant mums in April 2015, the centre – which won ‘Birth Centre of the Year’ in a national awards ceremony earlier this year – has far exceeded its targets for the number of births in the unit. The centre has three purpose-built birthing pools, and sees a majority of its mothers have a water birth. It is run by experienced midwives who offer a comfortable environment where birth is treated as a ‘normal’ process rather than a medical one. Ela who had a water birth for Adam said: “The centre is so nice. It feels very different to where I gave birth for Philip. It was really nice to be able to have a water birth this time, I was really happy to be in here as it happened so fast this time! “I really liked the Poppy Suite it was very calming and I would definitely recommend the unit to my friends.”
Meadow Birth Centre midwife team leader, Louise Turbutt said: “We’re so proud of what we’ve achieved so far and seeing the 2000th baby born is very special. We’ve far exceeded our expectations of how many babies would be born in the centre and that’s fantastic news, not just for us, but for the women of Worcestershire and beyond who have experienced giving birth in this unit.
“Reaching 2000 births in the unit is a testament to the whole team and how hard everyone has worked to give mothers the best possible birth experience they can in a relaxing and homely environment.”
Midwives from Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust are appealing for volunteers to help support women who are breastfeeding. Potential volunteers are invited to a meet-and-greet session on Thursday 2 November in the Charles Hastings Education Centre at Worcestershire Royal Hospital. Breastfeeding, where possible, can be the best option for new mums and their babies. Research has shown that it can reduce the risk of childhood infections, sudden infant death, obesity, diabetes and breast cancer. In Worcestershire, 73 per cent of mothers start breastfeeding straight away, slightly below the national average of 80 per cent. And after the first six weeks, this drops to 44 per cent.
Friendly volunteers from all over Worcestershire are invited to join a training programme to learn how to support pregnant women and new mothers. The volunteer role will involve 15 to 20 hours of free training with specialist midwives, upon clearance of the standard Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks. Infant feeding lead Becky Davenport said: “Getting breastfeeding off to a good start can be difficult. By starting this network of trained volunteers, we will be able to offer new mums the help they need, when they need it.
“The volunteer programme is a great opportunity to work with NHS professionals, expand your knowledge and learn a lifelong skill – at the same time as contributing to your local community. There’s no experience necessary, but an interest in breastfeeding is essential. This will be the third year we have run this opportunity and many of our previous volunteers have gone on to do midwifery training.” Verity Worthington, from Kidderminster, had baby Freddie Worthington-Phillips at Worcestershire Royal Hospital and said: “I was so grateful for the support I received when breastfeeding Freddie. In the first weeks I was so glad that I had a number to call and lovely support on hand. The volunteers and midwives all do brilliant work.”
Come along to the meet-and-greet on Thursday 2 November, from 9:30am to 10:30am in the Charles Hastings Education Centre at Worcestershire Royal Hospital. The trust’s specialist infant feeding midwives, Becky and Caroline, will be on hand to answer questions and tell you about the training sessions that will be held at venues across the county.
Mums to be in the Wyre Forest are benefiting from a new ‘one stop shop’ antenatal and postnatal service at Kidderminster Hospital and Treatment Centre. Community and hospital services have been brought together under one roof for the first time, meaning pregnant women are now able to access and receive any care they need – throughout their pregnancy and afterwards – quicker and easier.
The development of the ‘Maternity Hub’ means community midwives, scanning midwives, antenatal clinic midwives, consultants and specialist advisors all work together, referring women into each other’s services on the same day – and often within just a few hours.
Karen Chapman, Maternity Hub Team Leader, said: “The Maternity Hub opened in November and we are gradually expanding what we can offer. The developments are in line with the recommendations laid out in NHS England’s Better Births document which sets out a vision for a modern maternity service that delivers safer, more personalised care for all women and every baby. We are already hearing really positive things from our parents-to-be – the overwhelming benefit is that they can now access services in one place and often in one visit which is much more convenient.”
Mum-to-be Rebecca Phillips, who is nearing the end of her pregnancy, said she had found it much easier having all of her appointments in one place. “Previously I was attending my clinic appointments at two different children’s centres and then having to come to the hospital for scans. Being able to just come to the hub and know that, should I need any further tests or scans I can just go across the corridor on the same day, is really convenient.”
Community Midwife Maria Birt said the Maternity Hub was also working well for staff. “We have really noticed the difference – we’re not spending as much time on the phone trying to sort out follow up appointments for other services. We can just talk to our colleagues within the hub and get things sorted out there and then – it’s great for the mums-to-be.”
The centre has also been made more child friendly, with a new Wendy House and children’s activities kindly donated by the Kidderminster Hospital League of Friends.
If the Maternity Hub model proves successful the Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust hopes to roll the model out countywide.