Teams of Midwives who will care for women at all stages throughout their pregnancy, birth and beyond will be starting to work in a different way from January 2020 when our new Continuity of Carer approach launches.
The new way of working will be initially offered to mums-to-be in set locations before being rolled out more widely during the year.
Our trailblazing teams will care for women during every step of their pregnancy, during the birth and after their little one is born as is already the case with our popular Homebirth team.
Continuity of Carer is a key recommendation of NHS England's Better Births report and aims to make maternity care more personalised, informed and safe.
The many benefits to the approach include the building of a stronger relationship between women and their Midwives, which in turn will mean an increased level of trust and communication.
Evidence also shows that women who have a Midwife they are familiar with when in labour are less likely to need interventions during pregnancy and birth, and are more likely to be satisfied with their care.
There are advantages for Midwives too; for many Continuity of Carer goes to back to the way they envisaged providing midwifery care for women; providing holistic care throughout the whole transition from pregnancy to parenthood regardless of risk.
After much thought our new teams will be named after inspirational women including Rosa, in honour of US civil rights activist Rosa Parkes, and Emmeline, after the British suffragette movement organiser, Emmeline Pankhurst.
Our other teams are named Noor, after the heroine of World War Two, Noor Inayat Khan, and Helen, inspired by American author, activist and lecturer, Helen Keller, the first deaf blind person to win a Bachelor of Arts degree.
Rachel Carter, Head of Midwifery and Deputy Chief Nurse (Women’s), said:
"I am extremely proud of how our Midwives are embracing the transition towards this new way of working, to provide Continuity of Carer for our women, and for the fantastic support their colleagues are providing, whilst continuing to care for women in current models of care.
“The teams are real trailblazers. They are undertaking focussed update training so they have all the skills and knowledge to provide care for women from their first appointment until they handover care to the health visitor.
“This is a fantastic opportunity to make the difference that the evidence tells us is possible, improving outcomes for those women who receive care along this model and that is what this is all about."
Chloe Cadby, Birmingham and Solihull’s Maternity Voices Partnership Chair, said:
"One of the key pieces of feedback we hear from women is that getting to know a Midwife makes a big difference to your overall experience and I am therefore delighted that Birmingham Women's Hospital has introduced these new teams and are paving the way for other teams to follow suit."