Posted on 4 April 2012
Views will be fed into the Getting it Right from the Start project led by the Mother & Infant Research Unit in the University’s Department of Health Sciences.
The project involves training staff in maternity and neonatal units to introduce practices that have been shown to improve the health and care of mothers and babies. As part of the project, over 50 NHS staff are working as champions in units across the region, promoting best practice.
The project is being evaluated by the NHS, with the Child and Maternal Health Observatory (ChiMat) examining whether it is making a difference to the care babies, women and families receive.
The main focus of the Getting it Right from the Start project is to support all staff working in maternity and neonatal units in the region to use the best evidence and to turn best practice into common practice
Professor Mary Renfrew
To gather views and experiences, ChiMat is operating web surveys for both parents and maternity and neonatal unit staff. Researchers would like to hear from anyone who has had experience of maternity or neonatal services in Yorkshire and the Humber from October 2011 onwards. The surveys are anonymous and no information is collected which will identify respondents or the hospital.
The project aims to improve the care of low risk women at admission in labour, and the care for babies and their parents in neonatal units.
In maternity units this includes encouraging low-risk women to be mobile rather than lying down during admission in labour, and supporting staff to avoid unnecessary interventions such as routine electronic monitoring.
In neonatal units parents are encouraged to hold their babies as much as possible, so that babies are held skin-to-skin with their mother or father rather than spending all day in an incubator. Mothers are also actively supported to express their breastmilk and to breastfeed their babies.
Professor Mary Renfrew, Director of the University’s Mother and Infant Research Unit, said: “The main focus of the Getting it Right from the Start project is to support all staff working in maternity and neonatal units in the region to use the best evidence and to turn best practice into common practice, so all women and their babies experience the best care.
“It would be really helpful if recent parents and staff working in these units could respond to the survey to tell us about their experiences and make their views known.”
The Getting it Right from the Start project is part of the work of the Yorkshire and Humber Health Innovation and Education Cluster. It is run in collaboration with Professor Bill McGuire from the Hull York Medical School. The project is actively supported by the NHS and voluntary groups.
Staff working in maternity units in Yorkshire and the Humber are encouraged to give their views at www.surveymonkey.com/s/NormalBirthStaff. Those working in neonatal units can visit www.surveymonkey.com/s/NeonatalStaff.