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Doncaster partnership wins national award for work to protect vulnerable women and babies

13 March, 2018

Doncaster partnership wins national award for work to protect vulnerable women and babies

A health and social care partnership programme to help expectant mothers has scooped first place in a national award. Melissa Simpson, the Doncaster Children’s Services Trust lead on the multi-agency Pregnancy Liaison Meeting (PLM) team and the scheme’s founder, and  Debbie Rees-Pollard, midwife at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals, scooped the Partnership Working award sponsored by Slimming World at the Royal College of Midwives 2018 awards.

Debbie and Melissa won the award for their work to improve communication between the professionals involved in the care of vulnerable women, in turn helping to protect their unborn babies. They received their award at the RCM’s awards ceremony in London on 6th March 2018

Before Debbie and Melissa’s project, communication and information sharing between midwives and social workers was sometimes slow due to time constraints for both groups of professionals. Their initiative involved having monthly meetings with all relevant health and social care professionals to ensure that information was shared effectively, and in time to ensure the best possible care for these mothers and babies.

Initially the project ran as a six month pilot to assess if it was effective and the results were great success. It has led to earlier interventions for mothers and babies if needed, and more efficient sharing of information between midwives, social workers and other relevant professionals.  The time from initial concerns about the safety of mothers and babies being recognised to getting plans in place across different professional groups has been halved.

The project has been so successful that neighbouring local authorities and clinical commissioning groups are looking to replicate its approach.

The award judges were impressed by how this showed the partnership between midwifery and social care in protecting families. They also praised how the project has been embedded into the work of the different teams and how it has significantly reduced the timescales for getting plans into place.

Debbie and Melissa said: “We are both thrilled to have won this award and want to say a huge thank you to our respective teams and everyone else who has worked hard to ensure that the project has been a success.

“This partnership working showcases how, by working together across services, we can ensure our mums-to-be in Doncaster receive the support, care and advice they need throughout their pregnancy.”

Carolyn Pallister, Slimming World Public Health Manager, said: “We’re honoured to be working with the Royal College of Midwives to support innovative partnership projects that make a real difference to women’s lives. At Slimming World we believe that anything that helps families get off to a healthy start can have a huge impact on future health. Support for vulnerable women to ensure the best possible outcomes for mothers and babies is of vital importance and we commend Debbie and Melissa for their dedicated work in this area”

Gill Walton, Chief Executive and General Secretary of the Royal College of Midwives, said: “This is such a great example of how cooperation between health and social care professionals can really make a difference to women and babies. I congratulate Debbie and Melissa on their award and for their commitment and dedication to the people they care for; it is well deserved.”

For more information on the RCM Annual Awards visit http://www.rcmawards.com/awards-day.

Note to editors

The RCM is the only trade union and professional association dedicated to serving midwifery and the whole midwifery team. We provide workplace advice and support, professional and clinical guidance and information, and learning opportunities with our broad range of events, conferences and online resources. For more information visit the RCM website at https://www.rcm.org.uk/.



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