INFANT MORTALITY SCRUTINY COMMISSION: UPDATE ON RECOMMENDATIONS
Members to receive a presentation from Fiona Laird, Maternity Modernisation Manager, NHS Newham on the Commission’s previous review into Infant Mortality in Newham.
(Paper copies of the presentation will be available at the meeting)
The Commission received a presentation from Fiona Laird, Maternity Modernisation Manager, NHS Newham on Infant Mortality, the topic of a past Health Scrutiny Commission review. The purpose of the presentation was to update the Commission on the progress that has been made on developing in Newham’s maternity services.
Key actions being undertaken:
A community maternity clinic at Deanary Road children’s centre was set up to assist pregnant women in the local community for support/guidance and checkups during pregnancy. Around 1800 women have booked in to use this service. Audit results indicate that this centre :
- “Did Not Attend” rates were reduced from 18% in hospital to 7% at the new centre.
- All women at Deanary Road were offered antenatal care education
- There were specific clinics for teenagers
- The was an increase use of free pregnancy testing service
- There were good birth outcomes
- Late bookings were reduced
There had also been a lot of positive feedback, with the Department of Health using the Deanary Road Centre as a model of good practice. No complaints received so far and a lot of positive feedback from all women and their families.
The Commission heard that:
- A second practice to be opened in Freemasons Road, with increased capacity. Eventually, there will be a community-based maternity centre in each quadrant of the borough.
- Early booking of pregnancy care to be offered
- Continue regular meetings with all stakeholders, clinicians and users
- Continue to make improvements and target commissioning based on ongoing audits and patient feedback.
The Commission heard that:
· Pharmacists sell 4,600 pregnancy tests a year in Newham and NHS have been working with them to help encourage women access maternity services early, a key finding of the Commission.
· A leaflet was developed with partners and is now sold with every pregnancy test kit sold in Newham
· This has helped to increase the rate of early access to maternity services.
The Commission was informed that a “maternity direct” phone line would be set up for women for instant access to midwife support and advice. As Newham is one of the most ethnically diverse boroughs in the Country, with a big percentage not having English as a first language, the phone direct service would offer a service in different languages. Funding has been secured and Newham is currently recruiting for the midwives required.
An information DVD has also been made for women with advice for pregnancy. This DVD had 67 different countries represented and will be launched on 8th October 2009. The DVD would be given to every woman who had booked themselves in into the centre.
Other Issues raised:
- There is an issue with recruitment of midwives as it takes 3 months for the CRB checks to clear, which means delays in filling vacancies.
- The maternity wards at the hospitals were usually full, and NHS Newham were promoting home births. Many people fail to realise that home births were as safe as hospital births if planned well.
- Newham targets to reduce mortality rates by 1%. This is actually a generous figure as Newham has more birth rates then any other single area in the Country, which means that there is a lot more pressure on staff. 1% would be an achievement and a high number of lives saved
- There is a special clinic for Polish women at the Deanary Road Centre
- Newham are trying to sort out key worker accommodations as it tries to attract midwifes from other areas such as the North of England
The Chair thanked Fiona Laird for her update on the progress on infant mortality and felt that good progress was being made against the recommendations of the Commission.