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Musgrove's efforts to reduce stillbirths shortlisted for national award - 05 December 2016

Musgrove's efforts to reduce stillbirths shortlisted for national award - 05 December 2016

New ways of working to reduce stillbirths at Musgrove Park Hospital’s maternity unit have been shortlisted for a national midwifery award.

The Royal College of Midwives has recognised the excellent work done by maternity staff at Musgrove to implement the national NHS England care bundle, called Saving Babies Lives, which is part of the national aim to half the number of stillbirths by 2030.

While it is still early days, since introducing the care bundle 18 months ago the number of stillborn babies at Musgrove has halved, and is well below the national average.

Giving women support to stop smoking and the identification of small babies during pregnancy are two of the biggest factors in reducing stillbirths.

Since introducing the care bundle fewer women are smoking at the time their baby is born and Musgrove’s midwives are identifying half of all small babies during pregnancy.

Some of the ongoing work includes:

  • A smoke free PA system outside the maternity unit which plays a pre-recorded message of a child’s voice and can be triggered when a member of staff sees a pregnant woman or visitor smoking outside the unit.
  • Carbon monoxide breath tests are given to all pregnant women, with all smokers referred to the NHS Mums2Be smokefree service.
  • The hospital has adopted the Perinatal Institute’s growth assessment protocol to improve the detection of small babies during pregnancy.
  • Staff are raising awareness of baby movements and the importance for women not to delay to report a change or reduction in movements. All pregnant women are issued with a wellbeing wallet and leaflet.
  • The hospital has developed closer links with maternity related charities, such as Sands, Arthur’s Foundation and Towards Together Tomorrow.

Katy Evans, maternity matron at Musgrove Park Hospital, said:

“We are very pleased to have been shortlisted for such a prestigious award, particularly as the work we are doing is making a real difference.

“Our doctors, consultants, midwives and maternity support workers have worked together on this project with everyone playing an important part in doing all they can to safeguard mums and their babies.”

Cathy Warwick, chief executive of the Royal College of Midwives, said: “Just to be shortlisted is a great achievement and I congratulate the maternity team at Musgrove Park Hospital on getting this far.

“For me these awards are a fantastic opportunity for midwives and maternity support workers to showcase the wonderful, innovative work they are doing to deliver better care for women, babies and their families. I wish them all the best luck at the awards ceremony in March.”