In 2016, the National Maternity Review, “Better Births” (national-maternity-review-report.pdf (england.nhs.uk) set out a vision for maternity services to provide safe, personalised care to women and families. It recommends that every woman should have a midwife, who is part of a small team of 4 to 6 midwives, based in the community who knows the women and family, and can provide continuity throughout the pregnancy, birth and postnatally. This model of care is known as Continuity of Carer.
What is Continuity of Carer?
Continuity of Carer promotes a culture where women are at the centre of care. Throughout the pregnancy journey, women should ideally be cared for by no more than 2 midwives from their team. All antenatal, intrapartum and postnatal care should ideally be provided by midwives from the team. The key message is that “women should know their midwife at birth”.
Why Continuity of Carer?
High quality evidence has shown that women who receive continuity of care are less likely to have a premature birth or a mid-trimester loss. Women are also less likely to have an episiotomy or request an epidural.
In 2019, Continuity of Carer implementation began at Kingston Hospital with Emerald Team, who care for women who have had a previous caesarean section, and Ruby Team, who are a geographical team caring for women living in SW15.
We now have 10 geographically-based teams that provide antenatal and postnatal care to women and families living within our catchment area. We are currently working towards providing these women with care during their labour and birth from a midwife within their team.
See Homebirth – Kingston Hospital
Multiple Birth Team:
The Multiple Birth Team cares for all MCDA & DCDA pregnancies throughout the entire pregnancy journey. The midwives are skilled at providing care and teaching for caring for two newborns at the same time. Special feeding support is provided for multiple births in hospital and at home.
Team – Nikki James-Lowe, Sophie Linghorn