News Story

NGH launch the ‘Emerald’ & ‘Sapphire’ Continuity Teams

Esme, Cassius, Charlotte, Poppy, Rebecca, Oscar, Agata and Tomasz celebrate the new service

Two new teams have launched at Northampton General Hospital providing support and a familiar team of midwives caring for families from antenatal appointments through to birth and postnatal care.

The teams, Sapphire and Emerald, will be working with groups in Northamptonshire to enable women to see the same midwifes throughout the pregnancy, birth and postnatally.

Rebecca Harris, the lead midwife of the Emerald team, explained why the new way of working is so important “Our home birth team have already been providing this type of care to families and has seen fantastic outcomes. It provides our patients with this core group of midwives who they will get to know throughout their journey.

“For staff too it makes a huge difference. We get to know families before the baby arrives, we get to meet the baby and see the family come to life. It’s like we become part of that family and the closeness you get and being there for delivery with these people you know well is amazing”.

Tomasz, father of 8 month old Oscar, explained how getting to know his midwifery team helped him and his partner Agata “Rebecca was our lead midwife and the whole leading up to the birth itself period is brilliant. They see you when it’s convenient and you create a bond and some sort of friendship which is very important to the mother especially the first time mothers.

“We’re from Poland so English isn’t our first language so having this safety of knowing the people before the birth is very important to us.

“What we all tend to forget from our perspective I’m a parent too and being at home I can actually help and I do have an active role.

“There are things you are kind of subconsciously scared or cautious to ask because it seems private, but having a one to one session with someone you know, trust and have met before helps enormously. You can talk about those little concerns of yours, its tailored care it helps a lot”

Charlotte had continuity of care with her second child 6 week old Poppy. She explained how this experience differed from her first experience “For me the continuity of care made a massive difference.

“During my first pregnancy I saw a different person in the community every time. That midwife didn’t know me or what I wanted which was strange. It makes such a difference to have this group of midwives caring for you that you know. You know everybody and you know when they say a name who will walk through the door, it’s not a stranger turning up to your house.

“The forum really helps because I’ve seen 6 midwives post-partum and I knew every single one of them just knowing the people you’re going to see and meet rather than turning up at the hospital”.

Nationally there has been evidence provided that women cared for using the continuity of care model have better outcomes for both mother and baby. The Better Births team in Northampton are aligned with the national ambition of reducing still births, birth related brain injuries, maternal deaths and premature births by 50% by 2020.

Samukeliso Tennyson, lead midwife of the Sapphire Team, explained how her team will care for the community “Women have said to us that they want to know their midwife. Obviously the current model is you see community midwives but you might not see the same midwife all of the way through but this way of working is hopefully going to help the women to be looked after by the same midwife or the same group of midwives that they will know during pregnancy and when they come to have their baby we will be on call for them and when they go home we will be there to care for them.

“My team is particularly looking at the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic women in our community. This group are more likely to have a poor outcome which is driving us to change to this model of care. We’re going to involve the women in everything we do as they are the centre of our care. We know some women might not be able or want to come to the sessions provided and therefore our plan is to take the care to them. We want to give them the choice of where and how they want their maternity care and build that trusting relationship with the women”.

NGH launch the ‘Emerald’ & ‘Sapphire’ Continuity Teams