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Covid-19: how the maternity department at Royal Cornwall has been supporting families

Covid-19: how the maternity department at Royal Cornwall has been supporting families

Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 4:36pm 5th May 2020.

Today is International Day of the Midwife and we look at how Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust are looking at some of the recent initiatives their maternity services have launched, to provide better care and support for parents and their babies.

Due to necessary safeguards in place around Covid-19, many wards and departments have had to go that extra length to ensure patients are not only treated and cared for, as they would normally be, but that they are made to feel comfortable, reassured and protected at all times.

With staff now required to wear PPE, the experience of attending hospitals can potentially feel strange and impersonal.

The Maternity Department at the Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust (RCHT) has been maintaining a personal connection with women and partners attending the department by creating a series of videos that aim to reassure new parents, that beneath the layers of PPE, their midwives and maternity support workers are still the same smiling, caring individuals, there to help and provide compassionate care.

The ‘We Are Here For You - #withwoman’ video can be found on the Royal Cornwall Hospitals YouTube channel by clicking here

"As Midwives in Cornwall, we wanted to send out a strong message to our community that we are still continuing our care provision as normal. By being there for women during their pregnancy, labour and beyond, our midwives know they are making a huge difference to the health of new mums and babies, as well as their birth experiences. This is a unique position for Midwives and Maternity Support Workers to be in and this is what the launch of the #WithWoman [from where the term ‘midwife’ originates] campaign is all about."

             Zoe Nelson, maternity matron

Zoe Nelson goes on to say "we have noticed a rise in our BBA rates (babies born before arrival) without appropriate care in labour".

"This may be because women are frightened of coming into hospital, or because they don't want to be separated from their partners".

"This is concerning, as we don't want to see indirect effects of Covid-19. We strongly encourage women to continue accessing care as they would normally, and we hope that our recent videos will help women feel safe and reassured when making this decision."

The Kernow Maternity Voices Partnership are working closely with the NHS Trust to reassure our community and their support is invaluable.

The department's most recent video brings together a montage of pictures of staff both before and after donning their PPE.

Christine Hughes, a Maternity Support Worker at the RCHT, took the photos used in the video and described the opportunity as a privilege.

"It was great to see so many members of our multi-disciplinary team wanting to be a part of it. We were overwhelmed by the number of pictures sent into us by our colleagues. It's a testament to their dedication that everyone was keen to get involved and get behind the message of the video. It is an absolute honour to be able to support maternity care during this pandemic and to be able to think outside the box, using these initiatives to ensure women and families hear the message loud and clear: we are all here for you"

             Christine Hughes, a Maternity Support Worker at the RCHT

"We are very proud of our maternity team in Cornwall who are working closely to meet the needs of our local population despite their own personal circumstances", adds Zoe Nelson the maternity matron. 

"We are working closely with our Maternity Voices Partnership to respond to the needs of the local community and are launching our “Maternity Natters, Your Questions Matter”, a Facebook live event on the #IDM2020 Tuesday 5th. We are also asking parents to remember their midwife by sending us a photo and a few words about what their midwife meant to them. This doesn't cost anything, but it will be such a boost for the Midwives and remind us all why we are here and will continue to be tomorrow and beyond."

             Zoe Nelson, maternity matron


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