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Continuity of Care launched at Crowborough Birthing Centre

Those who are pregnant and registered with a Crowborough GP are set to benefit from a new and improved care model which aims to make maternity services more personal for families using them.

Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust, which manages Crowborough Birthing Centre and associated community midwifery care for people living in the High Weald area of East Sussex, launched Continuity of Carer (CofC) today (Monday 6th January)

CofC forms part of the national Maternity Transformation Programme which was introduced after the 2016 Better Births report by the National Maternity Review set out a vision for England’s maternity services to be personalised by 2021.

It means those who register their pregnancy in Crowborough will be cared for by the same team of six to eight midwives who will be responsible for co-ordinating their care and ensuring all their needs and those of their baby are met, at the right time and in the right place throughout all three stages of pregnancy and birth – antenatal, intrapartum [the time period spanning childbirth] and postnatal.

By providing consistency in care it means the person, who will meet each of the midwives throughout their pregnancy, will see a familiar face at the time of the birth.

Evidence shows people want Continuity of Carer. The benefits of the improved care model include:

  • Less likely to have a premature birth.
  • Less likely to be induced.
  • Less likely to have an epidural.
  • Less use of any pain relief.
  • Reduced chance of caesarean birth.
  • Shorter duration of labour.

Sarah Blanchard-Stow, MTW NHS Trust’s Divisional Director for Midwifery, Nursing and Quality, said:

Traditional models of midwifery can mean the person expecting a baby can meet a different midwife at every appointment. Having the same team of midwives caring for them throughout pregnancy, labour, birth and post birth means they can build a trusting relationship which in turn gives them the confidence to not only share any anxieties and insecurities they may have but also their positive experiences.

Sarah Flint, MTW NHS Trust’s Chief of Service, said:

This supported journey also helps improve maternal and perinatal outcomes and increases maternal satisfaction.

Although this improved model of care will be offered in the Crowborough area initially, the Trust will roll the service out gradually across the rest of its maternity services at Maidstone Birth Centre and Tunbridge Wells Hospital in the near future.

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