Basildon Maternity Unit shortlisted for eminent national award

BASILDON Maternity Service has beaten off hundreds of competitors to be shortlisted for a prestigious Royal College of Midwives award.

The Birth Afterthoughts Service, which launched in January this year, was one of three shortlisted nominees selected from 300 applications for the ‘Excellence in Maternity Care’ award.

The Birth Afterthoughts Service was launched for any woman who has given birth at Basildon or Orsett Hospital, to receive a postnatal ‘debriefing’. This is to help them discuss and understand their experience of childbirth and resolve any potential questions they may have in the days, months or years after giving birth.

Jennie Ponting, Maternity Matron, said: “It is such an honour to be shortlisted for this award, especially when there was such a huge amount of competition. Although we have always offered postnatal debriefings, if the woman requested it, we wanted to raise the profile of the debriefing so it becomes a central part of postnatal care.

“It has been extraordinarily successful in a very short time, changing the culture in the Trust to champion the needs of all women to understand the birth journey, not just the few. In a recent telephone audit of the service 100% of women who had accessed the service said that it had helped them.”

The service helps two groups of mums – those who have recently delivered and those who had their babies several years ago but may still have questions about their experience.

New mums are encouraged to read their notes and ask questions at every opportunity. Before they leave the hospital, they are given a credit card size information card so the service can be accessed in the future. Women who gave birth years ago can also get in touch, with one query dating back 17 years. It is often during subsequent pregnancies that questions return to the forefront of the woman’s mind so the team work closely with community midwives, health visitors and NCT support workers to publicise the service.

The winner of the award will be announced at a special awards ceremony on Wednesday 25 January, at the Grand Connaught Rooms in Covent Garden, London.

To contact the Birth Afterthoughts Service please ring 01268 524900 ext 3458 or email to birthafterthoughts@btuh.nhs.uk.

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