NHS England is writing an updated delivery plan for how maternity and neonatal services are delivered. They are seeking views of staff, service users and stakeholders to help inform this new plan, and help set clear goals to make maternity and neonatal services more personalised and improve people’s experiences when using them. The new plan will also bring together aims for perinatal service delivery and improvement into one place.

The survey closes on the 27 November.

Click here to complete the survey

Pregnant and postnatal women in Herefordshire and Worcestershire are being encouraged to use a new workout programme to help improve their pelvic floor health.

 

The ‘Squeeze, Lift, Hold’ campaign has been launched by the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Local Maternity and Neonatal System (LMNS). The campaign includes a website with facts, tips and advice to help women recognise the signs of incontinence, as well as behaviours to follow to help strengthen their pelvic floor muscles.

 

More than one in three women experience unintentional (involuntary) loss of urine (urinary incontinence) in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy, while about one in three leak urine in the first three months after giving birth. But the team at LMNS want women to know it doesn’t have to be this way.

“By providing women with easy-to-follow tips and a workout programme of simple exercises taking less than six minutes each day, we hope they can improve their pelvic floor in just a few months, all from the comfort of their own home.”

Rhiannon Eling, Maternity Voices Partnership representative said: “Incontinence during or after pregnancy isn’t normal and can have a massive impact on a woman’s quality of life. Talking about it isn’t normal either but it should be, which is why we’ve launched the ‘Squeeze, Lift, Hold’ campaign.

 

“By providing women with easy-to-follow tips and a workout programme of simple exercises taking less than six minutes each day, we hope they can improve their pelvic floor in just a few months, all from the comfort of their own home.”

 

The workout programme features simple, quick and effective exercises that can be fitted in around busy routines. With three stages, it is designed to improve bladder and bowel control, reduce the risk of pelvic organ prolapse, improve recovery from childbirth, preserve and/or increase sexual sensation, as well as maintain spine and pelvis support along with deep abdominal (tummy) and back muscles.

 

Daniela Long and Jen Westley, Specialist Pelvic Health Physiotherapists said: “Pelvic floor muscles work in two ways – slow and gently to keep things in place during your everyday life and quickly and strongly when you do a quick movement such as a cough, sneeze or laugh. That is why our workout exercises the pelvic floor in two ways – slow, gentle squeezes to work on the endurance of the muscles and then some quick, strong squeezes to stimulate both these pelvic floor functions.

“Once you grasp the technique, you can quickly start to progress and use the exercises in day-to-day activities.”

 

Amanda Argyle, Perinatal Pelvic Health Midwife added: “We hope women will find the workout programme simple, engaging and that they will quickly feel the benefits of adding them into their daily routines. Strengthening their pelvic floor muscles will enable them to enjoy this exciting new chapter in their lives with confidence.”

 

To find out more visit www.squeezelifthold.co.uk

Mums-to-be and their partners across Herefordshire and Worcestershire can now have guided tours of their local maternity services from the comfort of their own home, thanks to a series of new videos.

Informative virtual tours of the neonatal intensive care units (NICU) and postnatal wards at both Hereford County Hospital and Worcestershire Royal Hospital are now available.

It is hoped the videos will help to familiarise parents-to-be with both areas, provide information and advice around how to access the departments and what to expect if admitted, and reduce any anxieties that they may be feeling before their baby is born.

“By being able to ‘visit’ the neonatal and postnatal areas of their local hospitals in advance, we aim to reassure them that friendly staff are on hand to provide safe, quality care to them and their baby."

Hazel Brookes, quality improvement midwife at Herefordshire and Worcestershire Local Maternity and Neonatal System (LMNS), said: “We hope that these new videos will provide information as well as reassurance to parents to be who might have questions and anxieties around what it might be like in hospital following the birth of their baby.
“By being able to ‘visit’ the neonatal and postnatal areas of their local hospitals in advance, we aim to reassure them that friendly staff are on hand to provide safe, quality care to them and their baby, and give an insight into what the ward or area they or their baby will be staying in is like, including practical information like how to locate it, what the daily routines are like and when partners can visit.”
The videos are available via the maternity and neonatal pages on both Trust’s websites at: www.worcsacute.nhs.uk or www.wyevalley.nhs.uk or on the LMNS website.

A new animation will ensure new mums in Herefordshire and Worcestershire receive consistent, expert advice and information following the birth of their baby.

The new Maternity Postnatal Information for New Parents animation, based on an award-winning resource developed by Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and service users, is compiled by experts to deliver the core aspects of discharge information for new parents.

It includes important information including what to expect after birth, how to register a baby’s birth, and advice on both baby and maternal health and wellbeing.

"This informative animation has proved to be a really popular resource elsewhere, and we are really looking forward to our local mums being able to benefit from the expert advice in such a user friendly and accessible way, and being able to refer back to it at any time.”

Hazel Brookes, quality improvement midwife at Herefordshire and Worcestershire Local Maternity and Neonatal System, said: “Those initial first days after the birth of your baby can be an anxious as well as exciting time, as there are so many new things that you may be experiencing for the first time. This informative animation has proved to be a really popular resource elsewhere, and we are really looking forward to our local mums being able to benefit from the expert advice in such a user friendly and accessible way, and being able to refer back to it at any time.”

New mums will be signposted to the animation by their midwife during their pregnancy to help them prepare, as well as following birth. It will be accessible on both Trust’s websites at  www.worcsacute.nhs.uk or www.wyevalley.nhs  as well as through their BadgerNet maternity notes app.

 

Watch the Herefordshire animation here.

Watch the Worcestershire animation here.

Please click here to read the latest edition.

LMNS Chair Louise Bramble

We are delighted to welcome Dr Louise Bramble as the new Chair of the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Local Maternity and Neonatal System Board.

 

Dr Bramble, a GP Partner at Chaddesley Corbett Surgery in Kidderminster, and the Clinical Lead for NHS Herefordshire and Worcestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, takes up post on April 1, 2021.

“I have always been extremely passionate about improving care for children and providing them with the best start in life, and there is no better start than with a healthy pregnancy.”

She said: “I’m delighted to be taking on the role of Chair and am really looking forward to working with the LMNS team across Herefordshire and Worcestershire. There has already been so much outstanding work over the last few years under the chairmanship of Christobel Hargraves, and I’m excited about being able to support further improvements in the quality and safety of maternity and neonatal care and personalisation of our services for families.

 

“I have always been extremely passionate about improving care for children and providing them with the best start in life, and there is no better start than with a healthy pregnancy.”

Members of Herefordshire and Worcestershire Local Maternity and Neonatal System (LMNS) said a huge thank you and a sad farewell to Chair Christobel Hargraves at their Board meeting today, prior to her stepping down from the role at the end of the month.

Christobel, who has chaired the LMNS Board since its inception in 2017, has overseen the development of the LMNS Plan and a number of service improvements which are further enhancing the quality and safety of maternity care, choice and personalisation of services for families across Herefordshire and Worcestershire.

This has included the continuing growth of the Continuity of Carer model of care, the development of the birthways.nhs.uk website signposting new mums to information and advice, the implementation of joint safety huddles across the two counties, and the launch of neonatal outreach services – and all the while ensuring the views of service users are listened to thanks to the growing involvement of Herefordshire and Worcestershire Maternity Voices Partnerships’.

“The success of the LMNS to date owes much to Chris who has shown true commitment to the development of integrated maternity and neonatal care across our two counties, and ensuring the voice of service users is well and truly heard."

Dr Louise Bramble will take up the role as LMNS Chair from on 1st April 2021. Dr Bramble is a practising GP at Chaddesley Corbett Surgery in Worcestershire and elected governing body GP lead (Wyre Forest) at NHS Herefordshire and Worcestershire Clinical Commissioning Group.

Matthew Hopkins, Senior Responsible Officer for the LMNS, said: “The success of the LMNS to date owes much to Chris who has shown true commitment to the development of integrated maternity and neonatal care across our two counties, and ensuring the voice of service users is well and truly heard. I know that all partners working as part of the LMNS  are grateful for the opportunities that this strong partnership working has to offer to our maternity and neonatal services as well as the benefits it can bring to our service users and our staff.”

Fay Baillie, LMNS Project Director, said: “It has been an absolute pleasure working with Christobel over the past 4 years and her leadership, knowledge, and expertise will be greatly missed. She has been a passionate advocate for mums, babies and families across our two counties and the LMNS has achieved much under her thoughtful and careful stewardship – including through what has been a period of considerable challenge for everyone in health and social care over the last 12 months.

“We all wish Christobel the very best in the future, in her continued role as a Non-Executive Director at Wye Valley NHS Trust.”

Christobel said: “It has been a privilege to serve the community of Herefordshire and Worcestershire as chair of the LMNS for the past four years. When I took up the role, one of the things I was particularly keen on was to ensure that mothers’ voices were heard more and that they became part of the way maternity services were transformed. I do believe that that this is the case but the journey continues. The achievements of the Board have been as a result of the dedicated work of all who provide care to mothers and babies and I wish Dr Bramble and the Board well in the future.”

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