Queen’s Hospital team in the finals of national award

Queen’s Hospital team in the finals of national award
17 November 2016

For every 220 babies born in the UK, one is stillborn. This means that more than 3,200 families go home without their newborn baby, every year. 

National statistics show that 55% of women who had a stillbirth noticed their baby’s movements had slowed down or stopped.

Now, midwives from Burton’s Queen’s Hospital are through to the finals of the 2017 Royal College of Midwives (RCM) Annual Midwifery Awards after devising a project that actively encourages pregnant women to report any change in their baby’s movements. The stillbirth rate at Burton Hospitals is well below the national average.

A spokesperson for the RCM said: “This is a great achievement as we received an unprecedented number of entries this year and the judges had a difficult task selecting the finalists as the standard was so high.”

The Burton Hospitals project, called ‘Reducing the stillbirth rate via a proactive approach to managing cases of reduced fetal movements’, is now through to the finals of the Policy into Practice Award category.

A team from Queen’s Hospital will travel to London in December to present their project to the judging panel in person, before finding out in March if they are the overall winner.

Pictured below: left to right: Interim Head of Midwifery Helen Hurst; Jane Lamb; Sue Harrison; Dr Wendy Oakley;  Cath Askey; Jo Woolley and Sam Evans. 

The team from Queen's Hospital Burton

Their project examined the evidence behind stillbirths and patterns that pregnant women noticed in their baby’s movements.

Senior Midwife Jane Lamb said: “We began to reinforce our advice to all ladies to report any reduction in their baby’s movement. We produced stickers in multiple languages and stuck them to the notes of women who booked in at the hospital in the early stages of pregnancy. These stickers stress the importance of reporting a slowdown in movement. We have been urging women not to listen to well-meaning ‘old wives tales’ that babies move less as labour draws near. It’s not true and it could be a sign that something is not right. We made sure all women knew the telephone number to ring any time of the day or night if they felt something wasn’t right.

“We have also made sure that every single person in the maternity team delivers consistent advice and responds consistently when a woman reports that her baby is moving less.”

Interim Head of Midwifery, Helen Hurst, said: “This project has been a 16-month collaboration involving doctors and consultants and everyone has played a part in doing all we can to safeguard the safety of mums and their babies.

“We have developed a consistent approach when a concerned mum-to-be reports that her baby is moving less, but we continue to have a personalised care plan for every woman. Each lady we see will have needs, experiences and a medical history that are different to anyone else. We put a clear and robust plan of care into action with the mum-to-be always at the centre of events.”

The winners of the RCM awards will be announced at a lunch on Tuesday March 7, 2017, at the Brewery in London.

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