New community maternity team deliver first baby

The Maternity service at East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust (ESHT) is the first in the Sussex and Surrey region to successfully launch a new community maternity team and deliver their first baby in line with the recommendations from The National Maternity Review: Better Births Report.

The team is called ‘The Coastal Team’, and comprises of eight midwives who care for women in the Eastbourne area who plan to give birth at the Eastbourne Midwifery Unit (EMU). They offer continuity of carer, meaning that women will have met the midwife caring for her in labour before the birth; she should then have appointments with this midwife after the birth either at her home or on the EMU.

Emma Chambers, Head of Midwifery and Assistant Director of Nursing, Women and Children’s Division said: “We are delighted to be one of the first to successfully get a new community team up and running. Evidence has shown that this personalised care and continuity improves outcomes for both mums and babies, improves the experience mothers and their families have during their maternity care and reduces mental health issues related to pregnancy. We have two more teams launching in the near future, including one team who will focus on women with additional needs. Establishing these teams has taken a great deal of commitment and work from those within the teams and the wider midwifery and support workforce. I am very proud of the dedication of all those involved to improve the care we give to women and their families.”

Dr Adrian Bull, Executive Sponsor of the Sussex and East Surrey Local Maternity System (LMS) said: “It is great to see the first example of this new service that will offer many benefits to women through the birth of their children. There is great commitment across the Sussex and East Surrey LMS to roll out this model of care from The National Maternity Review: Better Births Report.”

Alison Cannon, Chief Nurse and Director of Quality, East Surrey and Sussex CCGs, said: “I can’t think of a better way to launch this amazing service than to welcome a new baby into the world. The committed and caring midwives and staff of the Coastal Team are providing a service that will be of great benefit and support to parents and families in the Eastbourne area, and they set a fantastic standard that I hope will lead the way in developing maternity services across the whole of Sussex and East Surrey.”

The aim is for 20 percent of women to be receiving this kind of care by March 2019, 35 percent by March 2020 and the majority of women by 2021. The ESHT maternity service is on target to reach these levels.