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Maternity care blossoms with new ‘daisy’ and ‘sunflower’ teams giving mums better births

05 May 2018

Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has launched two new midwifery teams to help expectant mums experience better births and personalised maternity care thanks to a new way of working.

The Trust has launched two new midwifery teams to help expectant mums experience better births and personalised maternity care thanks to a new way of working.  

The new teams—Daisy and Sunflower—are close-knit teams of six midwives each, who are on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to support the mums they are caring for. It means expectant mums can benefit from dedicated and consistent care from one midwife throughout their entire pregnancy: from antenatal care, to labour and postnatal support. The team works together to provide a holistic and personalised approach to care with each midwife also trained in complimentary therapies. 

Photo: Sunflower at Chelsea and Westminster—Madoussou Dosso, Rose Beaumont, Ashley Rudd, Ellie Hudson, Aimee Taylor, Claire Durkan 

Sally Sivas, Director of Midwifery at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said: “The benefits of having a dedicated midwife throughout your pregnancy and in the weeks after birth is invaluable. You get to know and trust your midwife, build a relationship, and it means our mums are better prepared for birth and all that entails. Every birth is different, and we are incredibly proud of the high quality care that our midwives deliver, this is yet another way we’re providing personalised and tailored care for our new mums, their partners and babies. We are the second biggest maternity provider in the country and this is another way we are constantly working to provide the best care we can for new mums at our Trust.”

Through the Daisy team at West Middlesex University Hospital and the Sunflower team at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, mums-to-be who are part of the programme are assigned a dedicated midwife who acts as their first point of contact, providing continued care and support throughout their pregnancy, birth and the first few weeks of settling in with baby at home. 

The new teams are expected to care for around 500 mums in their first year. 

Photo: Daisy at West Middlesex—Megan Cleary, Kelly Williams, Aimee Kewley-Graham, Collette Townsend, Georgia Moore, Giulia Eleuteri

Antenatal appointments and postnatal care take place in the home where possible and in a flexible way to suit each expectant mum. Monthly drop-in sessions and antenatal classes also provide the opportunity to meet with the rest of the team as well as other mums in the local area. 

Helen White was one of the first to benefit from the new dedicated midwifery teams when her son Dexter was born in the state-of-the-art Birth Centre at Chelsea. Helen said: “My experience was nothing but positive and Sunflower’s team work was reassuring. Taking the time to get to know them before the birth and having familiar faces on the day was really positive. These relationships go a really long way to putting you and your partner at ease. My partner got to meet them before the birth and it was another familiar face for him at a daunting time.” Dexter was born in the relaxed, state-of-the-art Birth Centre at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, taking only an hour to arrive. “It was great to have the home visit post-birth. Giving birth is an intimate thing –you are vulnerable –and the home visit provided me with the chance to say thank you for bringing Dexter into the world. You really tune into them and place your trust.” 

Ellie Hudson, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital midwife, delivered Dexter, but had her hands full that weekend as another mum, Frances Bussey, went into labour on the same day. 

Frances Bussey had a baby boy named Alfie and said: “I had a great pregnancy and I was expected to have a low risk birth but didn’t. My midwife responded quickly and reassured me that everything was going to be okay. Even though it didn’t all go to plan, having one midwife and her team assigned to my care made such a difference to my experience. Having your first child is such a big life change, as a new mum I felt a lot more relaxed than I would have done otherwise. I really can’t sing my midwife’s praises enough, we built up such a great relationship and I truly believe she saved this experience for me.” 

This innovative new way of working is called ‘continuity of care’ and follows recommendations from the National Maternity Review Better Births report and feedback from mums in North West London. 

The midwives themselves also benefit from this continued care and support. Through working in a close-knit team they can plan their workload, support each other with decision making and take more time to find out more about the women they are caring for and what they truly want and need. 

Natalie Carter, Consultant Midwife at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This new way of working brings joy to our midwives because you can really take the time to get to know each woman you are taking care of. Life becomes a lot easier because when it’s time for the women to give birth you won’t have to spend time looking at their notes as you will know the woman well already. You get the opportunity to build lasting relationships, work in really close-knit teams and for the women, care is seamless.”  

International Day of the Midwife

We’re celebrating our midwives and the care they deliver this International Day of the Midwife today via Twitter: #IDM2018 at @chelwestft and @westmidhospital.

Gallery


Baby Alfie and Baby Dexter with Midwife Ellie Hudson

Baby Dexter with mum Helen White


Baby Dexter with mum Helen White and Midwife Ellie Hudson

Mum Frances Bussey with Baby Alfie