The Celebrating Continuity Collaboration came from a shared vision. A vision that women in the UK should receive care from a midwife who they can get to know and trust and who can support them through pregnancy, the birth and afterwards, and of midwives being able to work autonomously with a realistic caseload for whom they would have time to without undue stress.
The Association for Improvements in Maternity Services (AIMS), Neighbourhood Midwives, Association of Radical Midwives, Positive Birth Movement, Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust, Home of Serenity and Halcyon Birth Centres and the Royal College of Midwives have all been working in different ways towards making this a reality for women, and came together to support the recommendation of the National Maternity Review.
The review has called for Continuity of carer, to ensure safe care based on a relationship of mutual trust and respect in line with the woman’s decisions. It has also said midwives should be organised in small teams based in the community, who know the women and family, and can provide continuity throughout the pregnancy, birth and postnatally.
But we know that this change in practice will not come about easily and we felt that a collaboration of women and midwives working together has the potential to promote and support change. The conference in April in London was our starting point, but we want to be able to build on what was drawn together for that event and learnt from the presentations and discussions that took place. We want to build a network of support around the country so that experiences, both the successes and the challenges can be shared and used to help progress toward the vision.
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