£360,000 new Community Midwifery Hub demonstrates new way parents-to-be are being supported post-Covid
Ioana Trofin has a consultation with community midwife Sharon Waples
Northampton General Hospital has opened its fourth Community Maternity Hub creating a network of hubs covering the whole town.
The development of maternity hubs signals a new way that parents-to-be are being supported in the community post the Covid-19 pandemic.
Before the pandemic community midwifery appointments were held in GP surgeries – but the risk the disease posed meant these were suspended and care was delivered from hospitals or in temporary hubs.
Since 2021 Northampton General Hospital has been developing Community Maternity Hubs so families can be given support in a specialist environment in their local community, an approach now considered best practice for the NHS.
New hubs have already been created at Danetre Hospital in Daventry, in Northampton at 38 Billing Road (opposite the main hospital site), and at Far Cotton Recreation Hall in Towcester Road.
The fourth hub, which has cost £360,000 to develop, is based at Moulton Park and will serve about 600 families at any one time. It was opened on October 30.
Community Matron Laura Matthews said: “The Community Maternity Hub at Moulton Park completes our set of four hubs and means we are providing care in a uniform way for the 4,000 or more families we support each year.
“The hubs enable us to provide a wide range of community midwifery services in a planned way to serve parents-to-be in locations within their local community.”
The new hub, called Moulton Park Midwifery Hub, is at Westley House, Scirocco Close, Moulton Park, and has six clinical rooms hosting midwifery, maternity support worker, and phlebotomy clinics.
Ioana Trofin, 28, from Northampton, has been one of the hub’s first customers.
Ioana, who is married to Alex, is 17 weeks pregnant with her first baby.
She said: “The new hub is very clean and nice and the staff are lovely and it was walking distance from home. This is my first child and I come from Romania so I have no family around to support me.
“It has made me feel very safe to come here and ask the midwives all of those silly questions a first-time mum asks, but which have been very important to me.
“I think the hubs are a great idea and provide a lot of antenatal care that you need all in one place.”
Northampton General Hospital’s Director of Midwifery Ilene Machiva said: “We are delighted to be opening our new Maternity Hub offering comprehensive support to pregnant women and their families.
“The hub is a place where people can connect with their named midwife and have access to all the specialist care and advice we provide.
“We have made significant investments in creating this network of hubs and aim to further develop the services we can offer at them.
“One really important message is for mums to refer themselves to us directly as soon as they are pregnant. This does not automatically happen through GPs anymore.
“It is important because it enables us to do the appropriate tests to support their pregnancy at an early point.”
Access to community midwifery services comes after a woman takes a positive pregnancy test and then refers herself for care through the hospital’s Maternity Self Referral Form. A first appointment is then arranged between 8 and 10 weeks of pregnancy, or sooner.
Services available at the Maternity Hubs include:
- Routine pre-natal checks including blood tests for diabetes and infectious diseases. In some cases, the baby's father may also be asked to have a blood test to check for inherited conditions, such as sickle cell or thalassaemia.
- Advice on how to stay well during pregnancy including tips on how to be comfortable and how to reduce some of the symptoms such as sickness
- Providing a calm and reassuring environment to discuss issues in pregnancy and what to expect during your care journey to birth and beyond.
- Antenatal Education Classes to help families to prepare for the birth
- Post natal support for things like weighing babies and ongoing care before care is taken over at day 14 by health visitors.
Community midwives will continue to do some home visits.
Posted on Thursday 30th November 2023