Each year since 1992, May 5th has marked
International Day of the Midwife, which aims to raise awareness of
the essential care midwives provide to mothers during pregnancy,
and to their new born babies. Although so much of our daily lives
is different this year, pregnancy still progresses and babies are
still being born, meaning midwives continue to use their expertise,
experience and compassion, albeit in profoundly different
Noel Scanlon, executive director of nursing at County Durham and
Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, said, "Like many of our clinical
teams, midwives have had to adapt how they work in order to protect
the women they care for, their families, and themselves, as much as
possible - not straightforward when many of our midwives work in
the community, visiting mums and their new babies at home.
"If there's one message we'd like to pass to pregnant ladies
it's that our maternity service is still very much here for you.
While the focus of much of the reporting of how the NHS prepared
for Coronavirus was understandably about Emergency and Intensive
Care Departments, our maternity departments have also adapted to
ensure ladies get the best and safest possible care. So it's
important to contact your midwife if you have concerns.
Perhaps your baby isn't moving as much as usual, or you're not
feeling yourself. Our maternity team is still here to listen
and give advice. We understand reluctance to come to hospital
at the moment, but it's important to seek help if you become
concerned. You can ring our pregnancy assessment units on 0191 333
2142 or 01325 743025.
"We know pregnant ladies are anxious about having their baby in
hospital, especially when their partner can only be with them
during active labour. But birth partners can bring you to the
department then, if they wish, wait in the car park so they can be
with you quickly once you're in active labour. Our ward teams
will be with you on the post-labour ward and ladies tell us they
feel very well supported and cared for there. They're even
making connections with other mums, much more so than when partners
are present more regularly. Who knows, some may be friends
"We've also made changes to ante-natal services, some temporary
but others we may keep as they're proving successful and ladies
tell us they're happy with them. In particular, in many cases
we're talking to ladies over the phone rather than asking them to
attend a hospital clinic. Of course, when necessary,
depending on the individual circumstances, we don't hesitate to see
them face to face, but very often this isn't necessary and phone is
much quicker and more convenient.
"In line with national guidance, when ladies do need to come to
hospital, we ask that they come on their own, including for scans.
We're humbled by how understanding families have been.
"Our midwives wear protective clothing - PPE - both in hospital
and when visiting new mums at home.
"Our maternity ward teams remain very busy, delivering 352
babies during March alone and they tell us they've never been
prouder to be in the profession. They're also enormously
grateful for the kindness and support they're receiving.
"We usually celebrate International Day of the Midwife with a
large conference that attracts midwives from across the country,
and we will do that later in the year hopefully. Meanwhile,
I'd like our midwives to know how proud I am of them and everything
they've put in place, so quickly, to ensure the ladies of County
Durham and Darlington, and their babies, are safe in our care."
Published 5th May 2020
'I am writing to congratulate you on your wonderful staff you
have working for you at DMH.'
Patient, Catering / Porters / Domestics, Darlington Memorial