From 20 July 2020, the Emerald care team will begin to offer continuity of care – meaning one named midwife will look after the needs of the birthing person and their baby throughout the whole maternity journey.
This will initially benefit women registered at Redhouse GP surgery in Cambridge and the North Cambridge Children’s Centre, and will be rolled out to all women within the catchment area during the next year.
Continuity of care and the relationship between caregiver and receiver has been proven to lead to better outcomes and safety for the birthing person and their baby, as well as offering a more positive and personalised experience.
The main principles that underpin this model of care are providing consistency of midwife and/or obstetrician, providing a named midwife who is responsible for coordinating care, and developing relationships and care across community and hospital settings.
Continuity of care was highlighted by Better Births (2016) which set out a vision for maternity services in England which are safe and personalised, putting the needs of a birthing person and their baby at the centre of care.
Evidence shows that continuity of care models improve safety and outcomes. In particular, it shows birthing people who had midwife-led continuity of care are:
- seven times more likely to be cared for by midwives they already knew, therefore reducing stress and anxiety
- 24% less likely to experience preterm birth
- 15% less likely to need an epidural
- 16% less likely to have an episiotomy
The Emerald team is made up of six midwives - Karen Fagan, team leader, Emma Crane, Kirsty Clark, Alison Marcus, Kim Manning and Fiona Smith - and Maternity Support Worker Jo Gargiulo and is the first Continuity of Care team in Cambridgeshire.
Each midwife will have no more than 36 women under their care at any given time and each team will care for no more than 290 women at any one time.
Working in women’s homes, GP surgeries and Children’s Centres in the hospital’s catchment area, they will provide a full package of maternity care - from booking to labour and birth to postnatal discharge.
Each midwife will work on a set day to ensure that each woman will be seen by her named midwife. The Emerald team will also provide a 24 hour on call service for women nearing the end of their pregnancy who are booked into the Rosie Birth Centre and the Delivery Unit, or are due to give birth at home.
Karen Fagan, Emerald team leader, said: “To be able to provide continuity of care for pregnant women is so important. It not only enables us to have an improved relationship with our patients but also enables us to work more effectively and, most importantly, results in improved clinical outcomes for the mother and baby.”
The Rosie Hospital will be rolling out 12-15 continuity of care teams across all of the community midwifery catchment areas between July 2020- July 2021.