Thursday, 29 October 2009

Maternity Matters: Choice, access and continuity of care in a safe service UK

MATERNITY MATTERS: Choice, access and continuity of care in a safe service - EQUALITY IMPACT ASSESSMENT is a NHS document

"Maternity Matters has been developed following the publication of the Maternity Standard of the National Service Framework (NSF) for Children, Young People and Maternity Services (October 2004). The NSF acknowledged the importance of addressing the needs of women and their partners before the woman becomes pregnant, throughout pregnancy, childbirth and beyond as they embark on parenthood and family life. Healthy mothers tend to have healthy babies, a mother who has received high quality maternity care throughout her pregnancy is well placed to provide the best possible start for her baby. A Department of Health Maternity Services Survey published in December 2005 showed that whilst 80% of women are pleased with the care they get when they have a baby they would prefer more choice about the type of care they receive and choice about where to have their baby".

dh_087081.pdf (application/pdf Object)

This report is a wonderful example of what people in power with a commitment to providing safe, equitable, satisfying and accessible maternity services can do.

Making it better: For mother and baby

Clinical case for change. Report by Sheila Shribman, National Clinical Director for Children, Young People and Maternity Services

The National Clinical Director for Children, Young People and Maternity Services, Sheila Shribman, outlines how services are being reconfigured to meet the needs of mothers and babies.
"Maternity services need to be safe and flexible - designed around the individual's needs and choices. Pre and post birth care will be available in community-based settings such as children's centres. Women will be able to go direct to a midwife for care rather than having to go to a GP. Depending on their circumstances women should be able to choose between having a birth at home, in a home-like unit or in a maternity hospital supported by obstetricians and anaesthesists. For some women with known risks giving birth in hospital will be the safest option".
This is the link to that report:

"We know that the emotional wellbeing of new parents and the involvement of both mother and father can have an effect on a child’s life chances including their health and educational attainment. Pregnancy and the first three years are vital to child development. If we are going to give children the best start in life services must meet the social and emotional needs of new parents and parents-to-be. Our vision of joined up services delivered in the local community will not only improve access and support a family’s ability to choose but will allow for support for their health and social care needs from midwives, health visitors and the primary health care team"
"To meet this commitment, and the others I have already described, the NHS should offer women a range of settings to give birth in, appropriate to their needs and wishes, taking account of safety and any risks as a key priority.

All women should have a choice of the following services:
• a home birth supported by a midwife, or
• birth in a local facility under the care of a midwife such as a designated midwifery unit. The unit might be based in the community, or in a hospital; patterns of care will vary
across the country to reflect different local needs. These units typically promote a philosophy of “normal” and natural births
• birth supported by a local maternity care team that includes a consultant obstetrician. For some women, this type of care may be the only safe option. These teams are nearly all hospital-based".

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