Bradford – This month sees the launch of a new midwife-led project which aims to provide personalised, one-to-one maternity care to women living in some of the poorest areas of Bradford.
Around 400 women living in Bowling, Barkerend, Bradford Moor and Little Horton will benefit from the new community partnership between Bradford Teaching Hospitals and Bradford Trident, who are leading the Better Start Bradford (BSB) £49million Big Lottery Fund programme which aims to help parents give their children the best start in life.
Head of midwifery, Julie Walker, said: “Our new three-year pilot programme will focus on offering enhanced antenatal and postnatal care with an emphasis on women knowing their named midwife.
“Our seven community midwives and maternity support worker will offer the very best, gold standard, one-to-one service out in the community.
“The women will benefit from a more individualised and tailored approach as our midwives will have smaller caseloads, enabling the woman to have longer appointments and be seen in venues which they tell us are more accessible for them. This scheme will ensure our team provides a greater and more in-depth continuity and co-ordination of care.”
Where woman have multiple hospital appointments, the named midwife will help organise these to provide more synchronised care. The same midwife will also help women to plan for the place and type of birth of the woman’s choice.
The new partnership also aims to address the social and emotional needs of families and babies, enhance the development of language and communication skills, support new mums in breastfeeding and in learning about the nutritional requirements of babies and toddlers.
Michaela Howell, programme director for BSB, said: “Part of what BSB is about is supporting innovative ideas and new ways of working.
“This is our third project to ‘go live’ and we will be looking forward to seeing how it improves womens’ experience of pregnancy and birth and the outcomes for their babies.”
The programme will be evaluated throughout its three-year period and healthcare staff hope to see a number of improved outcomes, including increased satisfaction, earlier engagement with maternity services, an increase in the number of women having home births, a decrease in pre-term births and low birth weight babies, reduced rates of smoking and an increase in breastfeeding rates.
“Throughout this new pilot, we hope that ongoing evaluations will help shape and develop our future midwifery service provision for all women and their babies within Bradford” added Mrs Walker.
The pilot will initially involve all pregnant women registered with GP practices at Woodroyd Centre, Hillside Bridge and three surgeries at Barkerend Health Centre.