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Prison maternity project wins national award

A project focusing on the care given to women in HM Prison Low Newton, during pregnancy, birth and for the following 12 months, has won a prestigious Health Service Journal Patient Safety Award. 

maternity prison project

A collaborative project sees midwives from County Durham & Darlington NHS Foundation Trust (CDDFT) now dedicating 30 hours a week to the prison, working alongside the staff there and involving colleagues from Tees Esk & Wear Valley Mental Health Trust (TEWV).  The award judges recognised that this multidisciplinary approach and an emphasis on better communication and clear accountability is leading to improvements in the health and wellbeing of both mothers and their babies.  The project won the 'Maternity & Midwifery Services' category. 

Fiona Dry, specialist midwife - judicial system, who manages the project for CDDFT, said, "We're all absolutely delighted to win this award.  The pathway has been in place since December 2016 and there has been positive feedback around having a dedicated support team and more access to a midwife on site.  

"One of the most exciting things to come out of the project is that we're now sharing it across women's prisons in the Northern region and seeing our strategies shared so that ultimately more women and babies can benefit."   

Lisa Taylor, head of service for offender health and forensic outreach at TEWV, added "It's great to be part of such a fantastic project. The partnership approach and collaborative work has made a big difference and really enhanced patient care." 

Gabrielle Lee, Governor of Low Newton said "We are very proud of the work being done to support women here. This partnership has resulted in a joint travel scholarship for Fiona Dry and a colleague from Low Newton visiting the Netherlands to identify best practice there. Well done to everyone involved in achieving this award".



Published 10th August 2018

'I have to compliment everyone on their pleasant persona and their expertise and knowledge. By the end of the 5 days, I did not feel as though I had been in a hospital ward and was very relaxed.'

Patient, Ward 16 Orthopaedics, University Hospital of North Durham