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What does this mean for women who use maternity and neonatal services in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland?

A mother having skin to skin contact with her baby

Better Births Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland is our plan to transform and improve local maternity and neonatal services.

Care that’s personal to each individual

  • Women will be given unbiased information to help them make choices about the care they receive before, during and after birth, as well as the type and place of birth, such as a home birth; in a midwifery unit; or in an obstetric unit in hospital, regardless of where they live.
  • Early on, each woman will have a named midwife who will oversee her care throughout her pregnancy, so that women will receive continuity in their care and will not have to see too many different clinicians including during childbirth.
  • After speaking with their midwife in the initial booking appointment, each woman will receive a personalised care plan and we are working towards providing electronic maternity records so that women can easily view and update their own plans through an app.

Safer care

  • There will be a programme of support focusing on high-risk factors of pregnancy to help reduce the number of stillbirths, deaths and brain injuries occurring during birth.
  • Pregnant women will be offered support with:
    • Stopping smoking
    • Managing obesity
    • Mental health and wellbeing
    • Pre-existing medical conditions

Choice

After a conversation with their midwife, women can choose where they have their baby.
This includes several midwife-led options, such as a home birth.

Home Birth Team

We have a dedicated Home Birth Team so that local women who want to give birth at home can receive care that is personal to them and their family. This specialised team of midwives offer continuity of carer through working in a small team, meaning women can have better relationships with their midwives.

How and where services are delivered

We want to develop the Birth Centre at Leicester Royal Infirmary to make it the central hub for providing expertise and specialist services, alongside community-based services.

The Leicester Neonatal Service will be delivered from the Leicester Royal as part of the Birth Centre. This will provide care for all new-born babies that need intensive care or an operation.

Services that specialise in vulnerable groups, such as teenage parents or asylum seekers, will work together more closely. This will provide a more joined-up service for parents.

Specialist care – because we all have different needs

  • Postnatal care will be provided by a multi-agency team, including midwives, support workers and health visitors, so that women have direct access to more services.
  • Babies that need specialist care will be cared for as close to home as possible, making it easier for parents to see their baby if they have to stay in hospital.
  • Support will be available for women with particular needs, such as teenage mums, asylum seekers and refugees.
  • Bereavement midwives will support women and their families during the difficult and challenging time of a pregnancy loss and signpost them to the wider network of organisations for further support.
  • Women who require extra help with their emotional health and wellbeing will be cared for by the Perinatal Mental Health team.
  • Specialist teams of midwives will be available for women who suffer from pre-existing health conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes.
  • Where possible, services will be delivered in the community so they are more accessible and closer to home

Read about the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Maternity Voices Partnership (MVPand how you can help shape our plans

Read about how our plans fit in with the NHS Better Births guidance
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