A clinic has been set up at Walsall Manor Hospital to offer pregnant Afghan women a ‘one stop shop’ for their maternity care.
The Tulip Clinic, named after the national flower in Afghanistan which is associated with birth and the love between a sibling and its parent, was the first to open in the area.
It has its own dedicated midwife, Lucy Blowfield, for ante and post-natal care, while there is also a linked midwife to the Delivery Suite.
Six Afghan women have now been identified to join Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust’s maternity pathway. This was the first to be established in the Local Maternity and Neonatal System (LMNS) which covers the NHS trusts at Walsall, The Royal Wolverhampton, The Dudley Group and Sandwell and West Birmingham.
The women are part a community of around 120 Afghan refugees – around 27 families – who have recently been housed in Walsall borough as part of the Government’s relocation scheme. The group of Afghan refugees helped British troops in Afghanistan before the Taliban regained control.
Matron for Maternity and Outpatients Laura Parsons said: “We see this as a one stop shop for maternity care for Afghan women.
“This is an opportunity for women to come in and be assessed by a dedicated Community Midwife and have the support from the Health Visitor, face to face, as well as link in with the Consultant Obstetrician.
“There is also the opportunity to take advantage of ante and post-natal care. As soon as they know they are pregnant, they can come and see us.”
Lucy, who gave birth to her own daughter Orla at the Manor 18 months ago, added: “It’s all about setting in some continuity for the women.
“These ladies have come from a different culture so to be able to offer them support and reassurance is very important. Hopefully we’ll ensure positive outcomes for mums and their babies, which is also very important.”
Women can be referred to the Tulip Clinic in one of three ways:-
- Via their GP – if they have been allocated one
- Via a referral from the support worker that families are allocated to help them as soon as they arrive in the UK
- Or via the Trust’s dedicated asylum seeker Health Visitor Dionne Frazer.
Every mum who joins the Trust’s maternity pathway is given a maternity bag full of essentials to help them, thanks to the generosity of midwives, their friends and relatives who have rallied to provide support.
In addition, in September, the Manor’s Delivery Suite was fortunate to receive dozens of large bags of essentials collected by Sutton Coldfield mum of two Becky Watson following an appeal on social media – see link here https://www.walsallhealthcare.nhs.uk/news/2021/09/21/mum-donates-baby-essentials-for-afghan-women/