Five outstanding maternity services have won prestigious awards from the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Maternity (APPGM). A further four services were also commended at the awards, which acknowledge inspiring or innovative work in improving local maternity services.
The 11th annual awards were presented at the APPGM summer reception, Monday 9th July 2012, in the Members Dining Room, Houses of Parliament by the Secretary of State for Health Rt Hon Andrew Lansley MP.
Speaking the the awards, Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said:
"I know as well as any other parent how life changing having a child can be so getting maternity services right is vital.
"We are committed to improving maternity services across the country. There are over 900 midwives in the NHS; and 5,000 midwifery students preparing to join the profession over the next few years. We are committed to giving mothers-to-be the best possible maternity care."
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 the vice Chair of the APPGM, Karen Bradley 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 sponsored the awards with Pampers, 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 five categories, and the winners are as follows:
1. Best example of involvement of service users in the development and delivery of maternity services
The 2gether weight management in pregnancy programme, Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust
The 2gether Programme addresses the needs of pregnant women with a raised BMI >30. The programme was developed with input from service users from the outset and this continues to shape the scheme today. Service users have joined professionals at local and national conference to raise the profile of this important programme for women and families nationally.
Cossham Birth Centre, North Bristol Trust
Cossham Birth Centre is Bristol's first free-standing birth centre with a home-from-home and family-focused environment. This new development is a result of public consultation and 10 years of staunch campaigning by Birth Centre Bristol, a maternity services user organisation and the NCT, who have continued to be a crucial and integral part of the whole development and planning process.
2. Multidisciplinary team of the year
Diabetes in Pregnancy Service, Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust
LTHT maternity services have developed a robust and sensitive pathway for women with diabetes. This excellent multi-disciplinary team has achieved this by working in partnership with service users and appropriate agencies, supporting women and their families to ensure and encourage optimal health prior to pregnancy and throughout the childbirth continuum.
Women's Services reconfiguration, Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
In 2011, maternity services in Gloucestershire were completely reconfigured with new facilities opening on the two main hospital sites in Gloucester and Cheltenham. The successful transition was the culmination of several years planning by a dedicated mutidisciplinary project team. The response from local families has been overwhelmingly positive.
Luton Mellow Parenting, NHS Luton
Luton Mellow Parenting is an intensive intervention to change relationships within families with multiple difficulties who are approaching child protection thresholds. It promotes a collaborative approach amongst the wider health, social, educational, voluntary sectors and parent's forum, working with children and families to help keep them together and to reduce the need for intervention
3. Most marked improvement in services to address health inequalities or improve outcomes for mothers and babies
West London African Women's Service, Chelsea & Westminster NHS Trust
The West London African Women's Service, a unique multidisciplinary service spanning hospital and community, meets the complex needs of women with female genital mutilation (FGM). FGM causes pain, vaginal and urinary infections, psychological trauma and complications in pregnancy and childbirth. De-infibulation can improve quality of life and obstetric risk.
Gloucestershire Maternity Service, Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
This group of six midwives provides one-to-one caseload midwifery care to pregnant women who live within a geographical area of Cheltenham that has been identified as having the greatest concentration of births from the most deprived 10% of women in Gloucestershire. Since its inception in November 2010 the MGP has achieved phenomenal results.
Wickbourne Caseload Midwifery Practice, Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust
The Wickbourne Caseload Midwifery Practice is based in Littlehampton, West Sussex, which is a recognised area of high multiple deprivation. Women recieve care from a named midwife who supports them throughout their pregnancy, labour and the postnatal period. The team has demonstrated notable improvements in birth experiences and outcomes of maternity care.
4. Most inclusive maternity service for new fathers and mothers
Early Intervention Service Midwifery Team, Newham University Hospital NHS Trust, London
Dadi Day (Dads are doing it) is a practical and interactive workshop for expectant fathers. This fun and relaxed session gives the fathers room to learn, communicate, network and practice in a non-judgemental atmosphere. It focuses attention on the dads so they feel as special and important as mothers are traditionally encouraged to feel.
5. Best example of a service for women with complex medical needs in pregnancy
West London African Women's Service, Chelsea & Westminster NHS Foundation Trust
The West London African Women's Service, a unique multidisciplinary service spanning hospital and community, meets the complex needs of women with female genital mutilation (FGM). FGM causes pain, vaginal and urinary infections, psychological trauma and complications in pregnancy and childbirth. De-infibulation can improve quality of life and reduce obstetric risk.