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Developing a Living Library to support our new mums

26 April 2019

We were delighted to recently launch an innovative new project called Postnatal Care: Developing a Living Library to promote a human-centred model of care, supported by The Health Foundation.

We were delighted to recently launch an innovative new project called Postnatal Care: Developing a Living Library to promote a human-centred model of care, supported by The Health Foundation.

The project aims to create a bespoke ‘Living Library’ model to enhance postnatal care at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, adapting learnings from Sweden. The team works in partnership with NIHR CLAHRC Northwest London and the Qulturum, Improvement and Patient Safety Hub, Jönköping County, Sweden.

The Living Library concept lends ‘people' rather than ‘books'. The ‘books’ are the people who have lived similar experiences, who are ‘loaned’ to ‘readers’. This 15-month project will co-design a library to initially support women who may benefit from this—for example, mothers or babies who have received care in an intensive care unit, first-time mothers who delivered by emergency Caesarean or who had significant obstetric complications, and mothers with challenges in accessing care (such as language, hearing, mobility or learning difficulties). 

Miss Sunita Sharma (Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist) said: “Postnatal care is the Cinderella of NHS maternity services, so we are very delighted at the opportunity the team has been given to be innovative in this area.”