The midwifery service provided in Plymouth and based at Derriford Hospital could be described as a "traditional model". This means that community midwives work mainly in the community, providing as much continuity as possible for women during their pregnancy and postnatal period at home. They also provide 24 hour on-call cover for home births.
Midwifery care in the hospital is provided by midwives who rotate between the wards (caring for women and their babies before and after the birth) and Central Delivery Suite (caring for women and their babies during labour and birth). These midwives work alongside a core group of midwives who are specialists in their chosen areas.
Specialist midwives include:
- Screening Co-ordinator, with responsibility for antenatal and newborn screening programmes. We offer all the nationally recommended screening tests for pregnant women and newborn babies. For further details of the tests on offer visit: http://www.nhs.uk/planners/pregnancycareplanner/pages/Checksandtests.aspx
- Infant Feeding Co-ordinator, with responsibility for the Baby Friendly Project aimed at improving breastfeeding rates and the support we offer breastfeeding mothers. The Maternity Unit has achieved stage 1 of the UNICEF Baby Friendly accreditation scheme. For more information on Breastfeeding from the Baby Friendly Initiative web site click here
- Public Health Midwife who is leading service developments in areas which include mental health, domestic abuse, smoking in pregnancy and the promotion of normal birth through setting up a midwifery led unit in Plymouth.
There are also midwives who specialise in caring for women and their babies during labour and birth, working as a part of a core team of midwives on the Central Delivery Suite (Labour Ward), and other midwives who specialise in caring for pregnant women on the Day Assessment Ward including ultrasound scanning.
Midwives offer a listening service to women following childbirth. If you would like to discuss your experiences with a midwife, please phone Caroline Rose on 01752 431336 (9am - 2pm Monday, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday) to arrange an appointment at the maternity unit, lasting approximately one hour.
Every Midwife has a supervisor, who is herself a midwife who has undergone further training for the role. Supervisors of Midwives ensure that midwives provide safe, high quality care.
Supervision of midwives is a legal requirement, set within the Midwives Rules and exists to protect women and their babies from poor practice.
A supervisor of midwives has been nominated by fellow colleagues usually because of her/his approachable nature, leadership ability and good communication skills. They are available for both midwives and women. The supervisor is not "in charge" of the midwife but often works in partnership with the midwife and women.
All supervisors have additional roles, some are midwife managers and many are midwives who work in the hosiptal or community.
Supervisors are there to be a support as well as giving sound professional advice. Women are entitled to talk to a supervisor of midwives in confidence if any issues arise with which they may need assistance.
All supervisors are accountable to the Local Supervisory Authority (LSA) and have standards to achieve; for more information visit: www.midwife.org.uk
If you wish to contact a supervisor of midwives about any aspect of your pregnancy, labour or birth, please call 01752 517888 and ask for the "on-call supervisor of midwives".
Domestic Abuse in Pregnancy:
Domestic abuse often starts or gets worse during pregnancy; this can have serious consequences for both mothers and babies. Speak to a midwife if you or someone you know is suffering domestic abuse; you don't need to suffer in silence. Click here for further information and advice