Happy ‘International Day of the Midwife’ to all the wonderful and courageous midwives at both The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust (RWT) and Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust!
Naturally, I want this blog to focus on our midwifery services at both organisations, and, in observing the theme of ‘100 years of progress’, I want to focus on how those functions have developed over the years and in the future.
Today, on this special day, please take a moment to appreciate what you’ve achieved these past 12 months and beyond – you’ll be amazed at how much you’ve accomplished!
Maternity services at both Trusts have introduced a new assessment system called Birmingham Symptom-specific Obstetric Triage System (BSOTS), which was developed to better assess and treat pregnant women who attend hospital.
Under BSOTS, the women with most urgent complications or concerns are attended to first by the most appropriate person, but it also aims to ensure all women are seen within 15 minutes of arrival.
The last two years have seen maternity services change in response to COVID-19 pandemic.
Delivering services with fewer resources – including the changes to available space in community and reduced numbers of midwives able to deliver care – forced teams to look for innovative ways of working.
At Wolverhampton, Kate Cheshire, Head of Midwifery and Neonatal Services, and the team introduced the Virtual Hub, which was able to support and ensure care was provided to women with COVID-19 who were at home, often scared and isolated.
The team also provides pulseoximetry meters for women to use, ensuring early signs of women becoming more unwell are picked up and responded to as soon as possible.
Maternity facilities at RWT have been updated to reflect the changing requirements of the population, with more en-suite rooms added to the delivery suite this year.
At Walsall, the home births service has been reintroduced, and an Equality and Inequality Lead Midwife, Carol King-Stephens, has been appointed to try to engage more with hard-to-reach communities.
A hugely successful recruitment day saw the appointment of 17 midwives, who will start between now and September.
Kate said: “I’m extremely proud of the teams who continually demonstrate ways of working collaboratively and innovatively – whether it’s about service redesign and positive patient outcomes.”
Carla added: “The efforts of our midwifery teams is astonishing, and I’m always impressed by the enthusiasm of staff to further enhance the service we provide.”
Thanks to the efforts of Kate, Carla and their teams, I’m excited for the year ahead in maternity at both Trusts.
As we celebrate International Day of the Midwife in 2022, I would like to thank you midwives, and the wider maternity teams, for always going the extra mile for our mothers, babies and families.
Also at this time, we consider the circumstances in which midwives are providing care throughout the world, and the teams will spare a thought to our colleagues in Ukraine in particular this year.