Saturday, January 28, 2023

Hywel Dda to receive special delivery of new standardised home birth bags

COMMUNITY midwives across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire will be taking part in a national trial of home delivery bags thanks to charity Baby Lifeline.

Hywel Dda University Health Board is the only Welsh health board to have been selected for this pilot.

Lynn Hurley, Lead Midwife for Community and Midwife Led Units for Hywel Dda said: “We are very excited to be a part of the trial and it is particularly significant as we are the only Welsh health board taking part.

“We were selected to due to the large land mass that we cover and because of our home delivery rate.

“Our community midwives look forward to having new and standardised bags in order to promote a safe and high quality service for both mothers and midwives, and myself and midwifery colleague Rebecca Johnson have worked hard to ensure that this standard is achieved through our work with Baby Lifeline.

“On behalf of the health board I’d like to thank Baby Lifeline for enabling us to take part in this trial which I hope is eventually rolled out across Wales.”

Stars of the BBC’s popular show ‘Call the Midwife’ Linda Bassett and Leonie Elliott (Nurse Phyllis Crane and Nurse Lucille Anderson) launched the home delivery bags in London on Friday March 1 and Lynn was invited to attend this special event.

Mother and baby charity Baby Lifeline provides ongoing training for maternity healthcare professionals, including midwives and paramedics who may attend births outside hospitals.

Over the past two years Baby Lifeline has trained over 1,000 community midwives across the UK.

Its expert professionals of frontline midwives, paramedics and obstetricians came to realise that there was an urgent need to standardise equipment carried by midwives to births in the community, as well as the processes to keep the equipment and supplies up to date.

Baby Lifeline Founder and Chief Executive Judy Ledger said: “Baby Lifeline provides specialist emergency training to community midwives and paramedics.

“From the training provided, frontline community midwives reiterated the same thing that nationally, there is no standardisation in what equipment is carried to community births.

“We are working very closely with community midwifery teams from six NHS Trusts to trial Baby Lifeline approved bags to demonstrate the value of standardisation.

“What’s very important is that we’ve also developed the right processes to make sure the contents are replenished and kept up to date.

“Our dedicated health professionals have total confidence the trial will be a success, and they hope that other NHS Trusts across the country will adopt these bags.”

An expert working group has developed a rucksack style bag with adjustable straps and optional wheels. It is compartmentalised and colour coded to make it easier to identify equipment quickly.

“The bag includes everything from scissors to cut the cord, to a hat and towels to dry and warm the new born baby, as well as equipment for emergencies that, although rare, can occur.

Starting in April 2019, 42 of these bags will be trialled by frontline midwives across the UK.

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