Day in the life of a Community Midwife at Gateshead Health

The maternity department at Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust recently came fifth in the country in the annual Care Quality Commission (CQC) patient survey and last year was rated ‘good’ for the service. There is a wide range of roles within maternity that support local women during their pregnancy to achieve such great patient feedback.

One key area of maternity work is the community midwife team, who work with women at home or at the base where there are dedicated clinical rooms to ensure they are safe and healthy post and pre-natal. The team meets together on a morning to check their shared diary to look at the new deliveries from the previous day as well as any other post-natal visits to allocate within the team.

Typically, midwives have one clinic per day at a GP surgery or a children’s centre alongside their visits. The midwives’ day varies from seeing antenatal and post-natal women as well as attending any safeguarding meetings with the safeguarding lead or GP surgeries. The main part of the role is seeing mothers and babies to ensure they are receiving the best possible care and are safe during and after pregnancy.

The team hopes to continue to deliver the high standard of care to patients, in the recent CQC patient survey post natal care at home following delivery Gateshead Health came first in the country. Lindsey Nichol, one of the Team Leads for Gateshead Community and Continuity Midwives comments:

We are really proud of that result as it lets us know that we provide excellent care and we want this to continue. We have to give huge credit to our team of exceptional health professionals who care for our Gateshead families

Lindsey Nichol, Team Lead for Gateshead Community and Continuity Midwives

Lindsey tells us more about the team and the work her and her colleagues do:

“Angela Cormack and myself are responsible for almost 40 midwives, support workers and a healthcare assistant in the team and their caseloads as well as our own. We also have a home birth service that I am responsible for, making sure that all the women who request home births are supported in their choice.

The autonomy to look after women properly is what drives the community midwives at Gateshead Health, we are lucky that we can see our patients regularly and as often as they need especially during the post-natal period to give necessary time to women.

Once a woman is discharged from hospital, a community midwife will visit them at home and put a care plan together, giving women the choice of how and when they want to be seen as well as providing contact details and guidance. In particular, if women are breastfeeding they will be fully supported to be able to do this comfortably with a clear plan in place. Women will always be visited at home by a maternity support worker the day after the midwives initial visit. This visit allows the maternity support worker and the new mother to put in a plan for the coming days in terms of feeding support.

Hopefully, the team can see more midwives coming into the community setting and delivering care outside of GP surgeries and more in areas such as children’s community centres. This would help women access care when suitable to them, fitting around their home life.”

Lindsey Nichol, Team Lead for Gateshead Community and Continuity Midwives