Funding boost to help maternity service

Estwar Sanichar, from patient experience, Janice McNichol, from maternity, and Lainey Fraser, from health psychology, launch the birth reflection pathway at Northumbria Healthcare which has received funding from NHS England with Katie Wennington and new-born baby Alyssia-Mai.
Estwar Sanichar, from patient experience, Janice McNichol, from maternity, and Lainey Fraser, from health psychology, launch the birth reflection pathway at Northumbria Healthcare which has received funding from NHS England with Katie Wennington and new-born baby Alyssia-Mai.

A fund will help health staff improve experiences of care for mothers-to-be.

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust is one of three organisations to be awarded £50,000 to fund an innovative project to gather women’s feedback about giving birth.

The funding, from NHS England’s Maternity Challenge Fund, will see the trust set up a birth reflection pathway and collect feedback from women having their baby at The Northumbria hospital in Cramlington.

The trust will use this feedback to signpost women to medical and psychological support if required and shape bespoke training for midwifery teams to improve care.

Women having their baby will have the opportunity to share their feedback in real-time while they are still in hospital.

Annie Laverty, director of patient experience at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said: “As one of only three organisations nationally to be awarded this funding, we are naturally delighted that our bid has been successful.

“A new arrival in the family is a very precious time and yet giving birth can provide very different experiences for women depending on the circumstances.

“This is such an important aspect of our care and we’re very keen to understand how women and their partners view their birthing experience.

“It will provide us with invaluable insight in order to improve care, support our staff and develop our service.”

Kath Evans, NHS England’s Maternity Experience of Care Lead, said: “This year’s Maternity Challenge Fund projects provide a real opportunity to explore how we can get even more value from the feedback that women and their partners give.

“These initiatives will explore whether, and how well, information about their experiences can be used to enhance what happens at an individual level.

“Each of these pieces of work has the potential to identify really innovative approaches that could benefit maternity services and families across the country and we’re delighted to be able to support the three trusts in putting their great ideas into practice.”