Parents will now be able to benefit from multiple services under one roof following the launch of a new maternity hub.
The unique hub, which will be located in Swingbridge Children’s Centre, will act as a ‘one-stop shop’ for midwives, health visitors, children centre staff, mental health services and a variety of support groups all working in the same facility as part of a 12-month pilot scheme.
The initiative, which is the first in Lincolnshire, comes as part of NHS England’s Maternity Transformation Programme – a piece of work which aims to ensure women and their babies receive safe, more personalised care that suits the needs of the local community – and supports the national maternity review, Better Births.
Women will have the opportunity to connect with professionals who will be working with them after childbirth.
Parents, babies, midwives and councillors all attended the launch on Friday.
Early Help Manager Children’s Services LCC, Fiona Railton said: “Lots of women feel like they get lots of antenatal care but feel a little lost after the baby has arrived. They will now be able to have access to all the right people in one place.”
There will be four pilot sites spread across Lincolnshire by the end of March.
Community midwife coordinator Paula Izod is part of one of two teams of midwives who will be at Swingbridge Children’s Centre on a daily basis.
She said: “A midwife will always be on hand to provide women with both antenatal and postnatal care as they transition to parenthood.
“We’d also like to introduce postnatal clinics to give a parent the opportunity to see a midwife at the hub after she’s given birth if she chooses to. Eventually we would also like to skype consultants in Lincoln to reduce the need to travel.”
The hub is also hoping to highlight the benefits of home birth.
Councillors Ray and Linda Wootten attended the launch.
Coun Wootten said: “We were informed that home births were at seven per cent before the overnight closure of Grantham A& E – now they are around two per cent. This is because expectant mothers are worried that having births at home could lead to complications and are choosing to attend hospital instead.”
Some of the services that will be on offer at the hub were at the launch, including Early Support Care Co-ordination (ESCO) who work alongside children and young people with a disability and their families and Family and Baby Support (FaB) a scheme offered to all families who have a baby admitted to the Neonatal unit.
The pilot scheme will initially be available for parents registered at the following GP surgeries: Harlaxton and Woolsthorpe, St Peters Hill, Vine Street and Swingbridge Surgery.
Paula Izod added: “We would never turn anyone away if someone is not registered at one of these surgeries and would like to access the services.” For more information, visit www.betterbirthslincolnshire.co.uk