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NGH home birth midwives win top UK midwifery award


Midwives Anne Richley, Sally O'Connell and Babita Williams lead the NGH home birth team

There’s no place like home!

A team of NGH midwives have won one of the UK’s top midwifery prizes for their work on home births. Anne Richley, Sally O’Connell and Babita Williams scooped the Implementing Government Policy Award at the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) Annual Awards, presented on 19 January 2011.

The three lead a team of 12 midwives set up to ensure that choice, as outlined in the previous Government’s Maternity Matters policy – was given to women, particularly around home birth.

Among many initiatives the team developed new protocols and guidelines on home birth and produced a ‘Choices’ leaflet for women. They ensured that women were given the time to discuss the options available to them and that those looking to have a home birth went through a thorough risk and needs assessment.

The team is aiming to get the home birth rate up to 10% of all births in the NGH area. Their results are impressive and they have doubled the home birth rates, which are now at 7% of births in the area - nearly three times the national average.

They have also improved continuity of care and reduced the number of early admissions to the labour ward. Provision of services between the hospital and the community has been improved and the feedback from women is very positive.

Cathy Warwick, General Secretary of the Royal College of Midwives, said: “This award highlights the important, innovative and pioneering work being done by Anne, Babita and Sally, and demonstrates the value of midwifery care.

“It is important for people to know that midwifery practice does not stand still. When midwives are given the resources, support and freedom to develop their work, the result is better services, better care and better outcomes for mothers, babies and their families.”

Posted on Thursday 20th January 2011