Report highlights importance of continuity in midwifery care
Researchers from the Division of Women’s Health and Green Templeton College, Oxford have published a report that highlights the benefits to women of receiving continuity of care from a midwife or midwife team they know, rather than medical-led or shared care.
The report Relationships: the pathway to safe, high-quality maternity care found that, for women experiencing continuity of care were 24% less likely to experience pre-term birth and 19% less likely to lose their baby before 24 weeks gestation. Focus was also given on how to implement continuity of care, and featured extensive testimony from mothers, midwives, doctors and NHS managers.
The report follows the publication in February of a national review of NHS maternity care in England, which identified continuity of care as a priority.
Professor Jane Sandall (pictured) from the Division co-authored the report and is also lead for the maternity theme at NIHR (National Institute for Health Research) CLAHRC (Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care) South London. She commented:
The most important thing for continuity models to be a success is to control the caseload of midwives and to give them the autonomy to manage their working hours. The findings of this report are informing our current research in south London testing a new model of care for women at risk of pre-term birth.
The report was jointly produced by King’s College London and Green Templeton College, Oxford. It follows a national review of NHS maternity care in England, published in February 2016, which identified continuity of care as a priority. For more details on the research, visit the CLAHRC website.