Providing continuity is an important part of my midwifery philosophy but isn’t currently in place where I work, but with the recent reports from The Department of Health and recommendations from NHS England, how long can it possibly be until things have to change? The Maternity Safety Ambition set out in the Department of Health’s ‘Safer Maternity care’ report is to halve the rates of stillbirths, neonatal deaths, maternal deaths and brain injuries, whilst also reducing pre-term birth. Continuity is a big part of meeting these targets, as the research clearly states this is exactly the kind of improvements that are seen when a woman knows her midwife.
The trust in which I completed my continuity project already have well established caseload teams, who had been around for some years when I started, I am aware starting them up will involve lots of hurdles and learning, but if you want to start something new you have to do just that, start. The experience I have had as a student and now as a qualified midwife and the many discussions I’ve had with students, peers and managers within maternity, has given me an understanding of the complexities of caseload care both from a midwifery and organisational perspective. This emphasises how beneficial it would be to try and share stories of when it has been successful.
So this is a plea for those who have successfully implemented continuity of carer to get in touch. We have all the literature, government and health policy and union support to start continuity, but how exactly can we start something ourselves? I think inspiration would be helpful from those who have done this already to help others see how achievable it is.
Have you started caseload in your area? If so I would love to hear how you went about this? How did you go about presenting this idea to the senior management team within the trust? What kind of barriers did you come up against and how did you overcome them? I’d love to share how this has been done successfully to help others who want to be drivers for change in their local areas. Please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would be happy to chat with me and answer a few questions to help spread the knowledge to improve maternity services!!