Continuity of care team celebrates 2nd anniversary

Since June 2020, our Horizon midwives has been providing continuity of care to a small group of mothers who live in the Gateshead area.

Horizon Midwives including Lesley Heelbeck and Mary Jobson
Horizon midwives at the 2nd anniversary celebrations

The Horizon midwives recently celebrated their two-year anniversary at Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust.

Since June 2020, our Horizon midwives have been providing continuity of care to a small group of mothers who live in the Gateshead area and who choose to birth their babies at the QE Hospital in Gateshead.

This model of care is associated with improved outcomes for mothers and babies with lower rates of pre-term birth, lower rates of pregnancy loss and improved experiences for service users.

The midwives have a smaller caseload of mothers which enables them to tailor care around the individual mother’s needs, spending longer at appointments, be present during labour, and help prevent any mental health issues, such as postnatal depression.

Lucy and Jane experienced first-hand what the service provides and praised the team of midwives for their support during and post-pregnancy.

Lucy Rankin and Jane Armstrong both with their babies called Teddy

Lucy Rankin said, “it’s been really lovely to be able to have consistency with the midwife that you see. So, from the beginning, Sarah was my midwife and whenever I have a midwife appointment, it was her or somebody from that team who had already spoken about my background.

“What was also lovely is that Sarah also delivered my second born so she knows the family well, she’s been to the house, and she felt like family. She kept checking in once he was born as well so the care didn’t stop just at the hospital.

“It’s nice to be here today to celebrate their anniversary to be able to catch up with everybody and see familiar faces because it’s sad when that ends so it would be lovely to continue that in the future.”

Jane Armstrong said, “It was really nice having one main midwife as part of the community team but then through the whole process we were introduced to the other midwives as I had quite a long labour in the hospital.

“I didn’t have Kerry with me when he was born but because I had met the other midwives, so all of the faces were familiar, so it was really nice in the end. We’d nearly gone through the whole of the Horizon team by the time he was born!

“It was lovely having them come to my home after he was born and knowing that I could call them at any time for advice and that I would get a familiar voice on the other end.”

Matron for Community Midwifery Services/ Antenatal and Postnatal Ward, Mary Jobson said, “On Thursday 30th June 2022, the Horizon team held a celebration event to welcome back mothers and babies who have been cared for under this model of care.

“Having launched in June 2020, in the early days of the Covid Pandemic the team have had to make a number of adjustments to their provision of care to provide all the mothers in their care with the benefits of Continuity of Carer.

“It was lovely to meet so many mothers and babies who were keen to celebrate with the team and who have had the benefit of this model of care over the last 2 years.”

Another continuity of care team, the Harbour midwives launched in Autumn 2021 with further teams planned for roll out over the next few years.