News & Media

Media Release

Date: 21 February 2020

Celebrating Frome's new maternity team

Mums and babies were the guests of honour when Frome Birth Centre hosted a special party to launch its new maternity 'Continuity of Carer' team.

The team of midwives and specialist support staff at the unit, based at Frome Community Hospital, now offers a more personalised pathway of care for women from early pregnancy through to childbirth and beyond.

Under the new system a woman is seen by and gets to know a dedicated small group of midwives who visit her at home, see her at regular clinics, attend the birth and continue her personal post-natal care.

The Frome service is provided by The Rowan Team project. Midwife Karen Patrick said: "This new way of working means we're out and about in the community, meeting mothers from the very start of their pregnancy and staying with them before, during and after labour. It's very supportive and reassuring and, in the short time we've been operating, it's been very successful with positive feedback from mothers and families.

"The way our two Maternity Support Workers fit into the team is a great asset, helping to support midwives during care in labour - particularly at night. The overnight on-call service they provide to support women with feeding in their own homes during the early days is invaluable and supports the maternity transformation plan to offer personalised care at home."

Rachael McNamara, from Frome, cradling three-week-old Gryffyn, said: "For me the care throughout my pregnancy and birth was really lovely. I knew my nominated midwife, she knew me and my husband and little girl - it was really personalised care."

First-time mum Natalie Taylor's baby Amelie was the Rowan team's first baby. Natalie, from Westbury, said: "The whole experience was amazing. The midwives became like friends, and that gave me a lot of confidence. It was just good to always have a friendly face, someone I knew and who knew me during my pregnancy."

Lisa Cheek, RUH Director of Nursing and Midwifery, said: "We are committed to offering this model of care to as many women as possible. Evidence shows that it benefits mothers and their baby, creating trust and confidence in their midwife team and making their birth experience a wonderful, life-changing time."

The Continuity of Carer plan is based on the recommendations of the NHS Better Births report. Its aim for maternity services is to make them safer, more personalised, kinder, more professional and more family friendly. Continuity of Carer is one of this year's priorities for the Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust and coincides with 2020 international Year of the Nurse and Midwife, a worldwide celebration highlighting the vital role of staff in providing essential health services.

The Frome Rowan Team is the first of four such groups in the Trust providing community continuity of carer - the others are in Bath, Chippenham and Paulton birthing centres - and more teams will be established across the Trust area.

Continuity of carer is aligned with recently-approved plans to transform maternity services across Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire - changes that will mean more equal access to choice for women about where to have their babies, a more effective use of resources, a better supported homebirth service and enhanced antenatal and postnatal care.

ENDS

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