A new birth clinic at Poole Hospital will provide additional care for mums who are pregnant with more than one baby.
At the multiples birth clinic in the St Mary’s maternity unit, mothers will have scans followed by a consultant obstetrician appointment where a specialist midwife provides extra support.
The antenatal clinic has been introduced to improve continuity of care for women – particularly in midwifery input – as well as improving compliance with National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidance to continue to improve outcomes for mums and their babies.
The clinic started on 16 April 2019 and runs every Tuesday, led by a dedicated multidisciplinary team including a consultant obstetrician, specialist sonographers and two specialist midwives.
It is the first antenatal clinic to be run jointly by Poole and Bournemouth hospital’s maternity departments. Patients who live in both Bournemouth and Poole will be seen at Poole Hospital, where midwives from both trusts will be present.
Specialist midwives will also conduct antenatal and postnatal home visits. This is vital due to the increased risks associated with having twins including preterm birth in around half of twin pregnancies, stillbirth, neonatal death and neonatal admissions.
“It's great that we've implemented this multidisciplinary clinic to provide continuity of care”, said Kayleigh Wardman, specialist midwife.
“This is one factor across maternity in the UK that gets mentioned as a means of improving maternity services and it’s exciting to see how the clinic will be received by women and hear any feedback they may have.”
The Twins and Multiple Births Association (TAMBA) has recently completed a maternity engagement report, funded by the Department of Health. It has demonstrated that the introduction of a specialist multidisciplinary team for women expecting two or more babies has had positive outcomes for mothers, families and maternity units.
The report, which was published in April, collated information from 30 maternity units in 12 months. It revealed that there was a 5.8 per cent decrease in neonatal admissions in units who apply this initiative.
Every unit in the study that undertook the initiative also improved its adherence to NICE antenatal care recommendations for women expecting multiples therefore providing safer care.
Photo: Kayleigh Wardman, Nicola McCord, consultant obstetrician, Claire White, matron for maternity community and outpatient services and Sarah Fisher, specialist midwife