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Maternity Services Award

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Winner: East Kent Hospitals NHS Trust

The Ashford midwifery project: Presented by lead midwife for teenage pregnancy, Jinny Robinson (pictured), the Ashford Midwifery Project provides a total package of antenatal care, parent education programmes, breastfeeding support, postnatal checks and contraceptive services in a disadvantaged area. Focusing largely on young – often teenage – mothers, the service is centred in the local children’s centre, removing it from an environment that is often associated with ill health

Winner: East Kent Hospitals NHS Trust

The Ashford midwifery project: Presented by lead midwife for teenage pregnancy, Jinny Robinson (pictured), the Ashford Midwifery Project provides a total package of antenatal care, parent education programmes, breastfeeding support, postnatal checks and contraceptive services in a disadvantaged area. Focusing largely on young – often teenage – mothers, the service is centred in the local children’s centre, removing it from an environment that is often associated with ill health.

The achievements have been impressive: 37% of the women seen have chosen to use a long-acting, reversible contraceptive; 90% of the fathers attend parent education sessions; and 76% of the mothers are breastfeeding at discharge, 45% at 6–8 weeks following birth. As a result, the service, which began as a pilot project, has now been given mainstream funding and there are plans to roll it out across the trust.

Judges not only praised the motivation and leadership skills of Jinny Robinson but also the comprehensive nature of the work being done. They said:

‘This addresses so many issues, including access, service improvement and health inequalities. This service could easily be replicated in many areas.’

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Highly commended

NHS Fife
Vulnerable in pregnancy: A close runner-up is a service for women misusing substances during pregnancy. Aimed at avoiding the separation of mother and baby at birth due to neonatal withdrawal, the team negotiated methadone tolerance testing and antenatal admissions. Since its set up in 2004, breastfeeding rates have risen from 0% to 56% and the average birth weight of babies increased by almost 400g. ‘This is a hugely impressive project,’ the judges said.

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Finalists

Knowsley PCT
Steps forward – an early intervention programme to improve perinatal emotional and mental health: This is a 10-week support programme for women run by health visitors, a midwife and a nursery nurse. It aims to bridge the gap between the midwifery and health-visiting support available and mental health services for women with emotional and mental health problems.

Powys Local Health Board
Real midwifery in the right environment – normality at its best: Powys maternity services are midwife-led, with no consultant or district general hospital (DGH). Women have a choice of birth at home, in the birth centre or in the DGH. Powys has a home-birth rate of 13% (the all-Wales target is 10%). Judges described it as ‘a model service’.

Stockport NHS Foundation Trust
The Stockport normal birth campaign: Its primary aim being to reduce Caesarean sections, this campaign aims to promote a full range of choice for parents regarding place of birth, including home, two birth centres and ‘traditional’ delivery suite care. In two years the Caesarean section rate has fallen from 24% to 20.3%. Judges praised the project’s vision and achievements.

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Judges

- Rosemary Rogers, projects director, Nursing Times
- Anne Jackson-Baker, former director, Royal College of Midwives
- Debbie Garrod, consultant midwife, Stockport NHS Foundation Trust
- Alison Lloyd, service user
- Mandy Wearne, director, Provider and Market Development, NHS North West

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Sponsored by NHS North West

NHS North West is leading the implementation of Maternity Matters on
behalf of the other strategic health authorities in England, working in partnership with the Department of Health.

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