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Midwifery continuity of carer model expanded to Daisy Hill Hospital

Team Sapphire and Midwifery colleagues

A new way of working which provides mothers-to-be with complete continuity of care and midwives they know has expanded to the Newry and surrounding area.

The Southern Health and Social Care Trust launched its first Continuity of Midwifery Carer (CoMC) team in April 2023 in the Portadown, Lurgan and Brownlow areas with the introduction of Team Emerald.

Now the Trust have expanded the initiative to the Newry and Rathfriland areas with the creation of Team Sapphire. Mums who are part of CoMC will see a small team of midwives follow them through every step of their pregnancy journey, building strong relationships with them and their families and providing seamless support from booking through to labour and postnatal period.

There are eight experienced midwives and one maternity support worker within the new Team Sapphire.

Maria Garvey, CoMC Lead Midwife, said: “Continuity of care teams differ in that mums-to-be are assigned a named midwife who follows them throughout their pregnancy journey – including being present during labour and the birth of their baby.

“If for any reason the named midwife cannot attend the whole journey another member of the team would be present – who they will also have met at meet the team events.

“Over the past year we have seen that being part of CoMC has had a positive impact on improving safety, clinical outcomes, as well as a better birth experience.

“We are delighted to roll this new approach out to Daisy Hill, in addition to the wide range of high-quality maternity services provided from the hospital.

“There were 1879 births last year at Daisy Hill. The hospital has a midwifery led suite – offering a home from home environment for those lower risk women and a delivery suite, including obstetric theatres supported by 24/7 anaesthetics for those who require more medical intervention.

Wendy Clarke, Interim Assistant Director of Maternity, said: “We are very excited to be expanding our successful continuity of care service into the Newry and Rathfriland areas.

“The feedback from the mums involved in the Craigavon area has been fantastic. They have said that continuity enables them to build a very strong relationship with their midwife and have had a very positive birth experience as a result.

“Our long-term vision is to provide this service across the whole of the Southern Trust as further teams are developed to cover our local towns and areas.”

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