Kettering General hospital is taking part in a trial with Baby Lifeline, a charity who supports the care of pregnant women and new-born babies, which is aiming to standardise midwives’ bags and equipment across the country.
The trial of the new standardised home delivery bag for community midwives launched last week at an event with Linda Bassett and Leonie Elliott – (Nurse Phyllis Crane and Nurse Lucille Anderson) in the BBC’s ‘Call the Midwife’.
The bag will be 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.
Mara Tonks, Head of Midwifery at KGH said “We are excited to be part of this trial which will form recommendations for the rest of the country. We have worked hard over the years to provide our midwives with the best kit and bag to hold the kit to do their job and it feels good to be able to share this work with the group. We know our amazing midwives will have great feedback for the project.”
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.
‘Baby Lifeline believes that every woman who gives birth in the community, no matter where in the country she is, should have access to the same essential equipment through her midwife. Equally, every midwife should have access to the equipment needed to deliver safe and effective care. This is what we are working to achieve through this project.’
Judy Ledger continued, ‘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.’
Starting in April 2019, 42 of these bags will be trialled by frontline midwives in six UK trusts.
The Trusts taking part in the trial are: Barts Health NHS Trust; Hywel Dda University Health Board; Kettering General Hospital NHS Foundation Trust; Medway NHS Foundation Trust; North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust; and the City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust and South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust, which are merging in April.
The project is funded by Fawsley Birth Centre, a charity which promoted high standards of education in all matters affecting the ante natal, peri natal and post natal care of mothers and babies. When the Trustees decided to close the Fawsley Birth Centre, they wanted to choose a suitable project to invest their retained funds in. After a long search they donated the funds to Baby Lifeline for the community midwives’ bags.