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Newham midwives win coveted national award

14 March 2017

RCM Award Newham MaternityMidwives at Newham Hospital have won a national award for their work to transform maternity services, by giving local women improved choice about where to give birth and empowering midwives to provide continuity of care throughout women’s journey.

The new approach being piloted aims to increase confidence in normal birth, in midwife-led settings with the hope to increase births at home, Newham Birth Centre and in the Barking Birth Centre, a short distance away from Newham Hospital.

Launched in early 2015, the team of midwives are working with obstetricians and local GP practices to provide personalised care for women. The pilot group set up in September 2016 will provide the model to a group of women with low and high risk pregnancies, where every woman has a named midwife and will see no more than two or three midwives throughout her pregnancy journey to improve continuity and foster positive relationships.

The work was awarded the Royal College of Midwives prestigious Euro King Better Births award for transforming maternity services together.

Cathy Falvey-Browne, Consultant Midwife, said: "I am delighted and extremely proud that our team's work to improve care for local women in Newham has been recognised. As part of the Transforming Services Together Team our aim is to strive for excellent, safe maternity care, to create more choice for women regarding place of birth and improve continuity of care throughout pregnancy, birth and beyond.”

Caterina Raniolo, Maternity Project Manager, added: “I feel honoured for being awarded this amazing prize, the whole team still cannot believe it. It was such a privilege just to have been shortlisted as we know how tough the competition is nationally. We feel extremely proud to work as part of the Transforming Services Together Team, with such talented and enthusiastic midwives and managers as without them, we would not have achieved this award!”

The project was devised as a direct response to the needs of women in Newham and aligns well with the recent Better Births National Maternity Review in England, where women surveyed revealed that they would prefer more choice surrounding place of birth and continuity of carer during their pregnancy.

Commenting on the winning entry the judges said; “Trying to turn a large and complex service around to be women centred for all women.  Considering the borough has 137 languages and high levels of deprivation with a transient population they have been able to engage with women to plan continuity.”

Cathy Warwick, Chief Executive of the Royal College of Midwives, said: “To win an award is a real achievement. Without midwives, their teams and colleagues from other health professions pushing at the boundaries of practice we would not see the care they are able to give to women, babies and their families improve and move forward. This is innovation in action which will help maternity services everywhere to deliver safer, better and continually improving care.

“I congratulate Cathy and Caterina on their wonderful achievement and thank them and their colleagues for their dedication, skill and commitment to women, babies and their families.”

Chris Yeowart, Managing Director of Euro King, said: “I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate both Cathy and Caterina. As Euro King always strives to develop its technology to support ‘better births’, we are delighted to sponsor the Better Births Award which recognises the wonderful work being done by midwives and maternity teams. Cathy and Caterina’s initiative is a fantastic example of the support all women need for improved birth experience.”

The team were presented with their award at a ceremony hosted by BBC journalist and broadcaster Natasha Kaplinski at The Brewery, London on the 7 March 2017. 

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Barts Health NHS Trust
With a turnover of £1.4 billion and a workforce of around 16,000, Barts Health is the largest NHS trust in the country, and one of Britain’s leading healthcare providers. The Trust’s five hospitals – St Bartholomew’s Hospital in the City, including the Barts Heart Centre, The Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, Newham University Hospital in Plaistow, Whipps Cross University Hospital in Leytonstone and Mile End – deliver high quality compassionate care to the 2.5 million people of East London and beyond.


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