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Continuity of midwifery care

11 April, 2014

Continuity of midwifery care

An RCM report has found that midwife-led continuity of care models improve the quality and safety of maternity care at no additional cost.

The report, The contribution of continuity of midwifery care to high quality maternity care, by Jane Sandall of King’s College London, reveals that women who receive care in these models are more likely to have effective care, a better experience and improved clinical outcomes.

There is also evidence that women who find services hard to reach have improved access and there is better co-ordination of care with specialist and obstetric services.

The report finds that midwife-led continuity models show improved outcomes for all women, regardless of whether they were classified as high- or low-risk. 

But it adds that more work is needed to explore how midwifery models can best help those who are high-risk.

The report says that the challenge is to provide choice of midwife-led settings for the 45% of women who were classified as low-risk while improving care for those at higher risk or with social complexity.

The case loading model is one option that is helpful for this group. 

The report concludes that more research is needed into the potential for midwifery continuity models to improve care for those who need intensive support and care.

For more information, and to read the report in full, please click here.

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