26 March 2014

Top national award for Jessop's Citywide midwifery team

SHEFFIELD’s Jessop Wing is celebrating after being named as ‘Team of the Year’ in a national awards ceremony.

The Citywide 1:1 Team won the top award, which is given by the British Journal of Midwifery, for the personalised support and care they offer to a diverse range of women before, during and after birth. This includes women with learning disabilities, severe mental health problems or those who choose to give birth outside of recommended guidelines. They also provide bespoke care to women opting for normal breech birth.

The service’s community midwives, Sarah Martin, Nicola Dawes and Helen Dresner Barnes, provide care 24 hours a day. In addition, all women using the service have the support of the head of midwifery, community matron, two consultant obstetricians, a consultant midwife and a supervisor of midwives.

Dotty Watkins, Head of Midwifery for Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “I’m absolutely delighted that our Citywide 1:1 team have won this prestigious national award. The 1:1 team provides bespoke, non-judgmental support and care to a diverse range of women, who often have highly complex needs due to learning disabilities, mental health problems or previous trauma. Evidence from research shows that all women benefit from continuity of care and that includes women with complicated pregnancies. This award highlights that a woman’s right to make complex choices can be supported through the NHS model of care, and that women who may otherwise have disengaged from maternity services can be supported to have positive birth experiences.”

The team have provided extra support and reassurance to 142 women since they were first established two years ago.

Kendra Arkley, 25, of Nether Edge, was referred to the service after a growth scan confirmed her baby was breech at 34 weeks. “Everyone I spoke to said just have a c-section, but I decided I wanted to try to deliver my baby naturally. The Citywide 1:1 team were brilliant: they gave me extra scans, and put me at ease by checking fluids, size and position. I could contact them at any time during my pregnancy and everything just fell into place as soon as I met them. They had all the experience, and I was supported by a big team during labour so I felt really safe. My daughter Annika was born naturally without any complications just over a month ago, and I’m really enjoying being a mum – apart from the sleep deprivation of course.”

All women using the service meet all three midwives during their pregnancy. This enables them to have continuity of care from a known carer when they go into labour, or when only one of the team is on call during the night or on holiday. It also means they do not have to repeat traumatic information to different clinicians and nurses during routine appointments.

The team also help draw up a plan of care for each individual circumstance, and share information with women.

The service is available to women with complex needs who are referred by their existing community midwife or consultant obstetrician.


Claudia Blake, Research and Innovation Communications Officer
Tel: 0114 226 5033
Email: claudia.blake@sth.nhs.uk


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