Seven outstanding maternity services have won prestigious awards from the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Maternity (APPGM).
A further six services were also commended at the awards, which acknowledge inspiring or innovative work in improving local maternity services.
The 10th annual awards were presented at the APPGM summer reception, yesterday, Monday 11 July, at the Terrace Pavilion, Houses of Parliament by Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Public Health Anne Milton MP.
The APPGM, which is serviced by NCT, the UK’s largest charity for parents, is a cross-party group whose aim is to highlight maternity issues within Parliament and bring together health professionals and service users with politicians.
The reception hosted by Chair of the APPGM, Dr Dan Poulter MP, was attended by 200 guests including MPs, officials from the Department of Health, Belinda Phipps, Chief Executive of NCT, representatives from royal colleges and the NHS workforce and leading health professionals and user representatives from maternity services across the UK.
Dr Dan Poulter MP, Chair of the APPGM and member of the House of Commons Health Select Committee, said: “It is important that high quality frontline NHS work in maternity care is properly recognised, and these awards help to highlight the contributions of a number of healthcare workers to improving women’s care and experience of pregnancy and childbirth.”
Belinda Phipps, Chief Executive of NCT who are sponsoring the awards with Vitabiotics Pregnacare Prenatal supplements said: “These are all excellent examples of what can be achieved through committed staff, focused work and innovation in services, and we hope they will act as an inspiration to other Trusts around the country.”
The awards were presented in six different categories, and the winners are as follows:
1. Best example of involvement of service users in the development and delivery of maternity services
Award sponsored by Natal Hypnotherapy
Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust
The Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust worked with members of the Irish Traveller community and the Irish Traveller Movement in Britain (ITMB) to address issues with accessing maternity care for travelling women.
A co-design and production approach was adopted to develop information for the community and health professionals in a medium that can be widely accessed.
Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
The Bradford Home Birth Workshops are run in collaboration with families who have themselves recently experienced birth at home. They give a unique opportunity for those contemplating home birth to find out what it can be like from families who have recently experienced this for themselves.
2. Multidisciplinary team of the year
Award sponsored by Lights by Tena
West Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust
Pregnancy After Care at West Middlesex is multidisciplinary and holistic. Complex needs and emotional issues of women, their partners and children are addressed following bereavement and distress related to childbirth. Psychological, physical, social, spiritual and sexual issues are explored to facilitate optimum recovery and face the future positively.
Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust
The Home Birth team provides a safe, sustainable and equitable service providing real choice for all women. This ensures a seamless service for the rest of the maternity service.
3. Most marked improvement in services to address health inequalities or improve outcomes for mothers and babies
Award sponsored by Vitabiotics Pregnacare prenatal supplements
Solihull Primary Care Trust
West Midlands Neonatal Surgical Project addresses capacity and quality issues. Previously, in 2007/08, 110 babies were transferred out of the region. A tenfold reduction to 11 babies has been achieved by 2010/11. A neonatal surgical outreach nurse and visiting neonatologist have improved quality of care and co-ordination of neonatal surgical services resulting in a £4 million saving.
Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Trust
The multidisciplinary Perinatal Mental Health Team is working to ensure pregnant women with mental health disorders, who are some of the most vulnerable in the area, have an individualised, specialist service tailored to their needs – as do women with other high-risk pregnancies.
Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Sick newborn babies are not able to breastfeed, but may still benefit from the many advantages of a mother’s expressed breastmilk. This team developed a new support system which dramatically increased the numbers of mothers providing breast milk for their babies, in a part of the country where breastfeeding rates are relatively low.
4. Most inclusive maternity service for new fathers
Award sponsored by NCT, the UK’s largest charity for parents
Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust
This team adopts a more ‘family centred’ approach to maternity care by providing overnight stays for fathers after the birth. This allows for the fathers to be immediately involved and the mothers to feel supported while encouraging the family unit to stay together and offering the opportunity for fathers to participate in the baby’s care.
5. Best example of woman-centred postnatal care
Award sponsored by the Association of Radical Midwives
Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust
Kangaroo Care has transformed the experience of women with preterm and small babies who are cared for on the postnatal / transitional care ward. It empowers them to feel more confident in caring for their babies and has resulted in shorter hospital stays and more exclusive breastfeeding on discharge.
6. Best example of a service for women with complex medical needs in pregnancy
Award sponsored by IndigoBlue
The Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Swindon
A Radical Restructuring of Antenatal Care for High Risk (Complex) Pregnancies (forming 40 – 50% of all pregnancies) has been a comprehensive innovation to change the NHS system. Detailed evaluation has proven the innovation has transformed antenatal care into a high-quality, patient-centred, evidence-based, cost-efficient, effective service – a unique model for other maternity units.
Central Manchester NHS Foundation Trust
The CMFT Joint Obstetric / Cardiac Service serves women from North West England and North Wales. It provides tertiary, multidisciplinary, maternity care for women with heart disease and acts as a resource, supporting clinicians across the North West. At CMFT maternity and cardiac services are co-located providing a positive birth experience for high-risk women.
Tameside Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
A bespoke midwifery-led care service with greater continuity of emotional support, counselling, direct and easy access to a specialist midwife for women and their families with high risk Down’s screening results or when a foetal abnormality is suspected or diagnosed. These women had previously been managed almost entirely by obstetricians.
Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (LTHT)
LTHT maternity services have developed a robust and sensitive pathway for women with HIV in pregnancy. This has been achieved by an excellent multi-disciplinary team and establishing networks with support agencies. The team engages and works honestly with women and aims to place them in an optimum position for birth.