Midwives are throwing a very special first birthday party at the Friarage Hospital next Tuesday (6 October) – and you’re all invited!
To celebrate the anniversary of the opening of the midwifery-led unit and maternity centre at the Northallerton hospital, women and babies who’ve used the services – and anyone who may use them in the future – are invited to drop-in for ‘tea and cake’ between 11am and 4pm.
It’s also another opportunity for the maternity team to showcase the excellent services that are still available for women and their babies at the centre, which has been midwifery-led since last October and provides friendly, individualised care to women with straightforward pregnancies.
Deborah Hebblethwaite, a midwife and the maternity centre’s manager, said: “This is a special birthday for us and we want to share it with the local community as there are still people who think we’re not here anymore.
“I read a lovely comment on Facebook this week from a lady who chose to have her second baby at the Friarage and simply said she felt so lucky to have the team look after them. It just says it all really – we have a great team, providing great care at a very special time for families.”
While the unit caters for straight-forward births, women with high risk pregnancies can still receive all their outpatient antenatal care at the Friarage with a consultant obstetrician. The only difference is they would need to deliver in a consultant-led obstetric unit where facilities for complications are more immediately available.
To-date around 256 babies have been born there and partners are also welcome to stay in the en-suite rooms during and after the birth.
Among the visitors on the afternoon will be Baroness Julia Cumberlege, who is the independent chairman of an on-going major review of maternity services across the country which forms part of the NHS Five Year Forward View.
The review will assess current maternity care provision and consider how services should be developed to meet the changing needs of women and babies and Baroness Cumberlege will be talking to service users and staff.
Baroness Julia Cumberlege said: “We want to make sure that maternity care in England is the best it can be. We have to start by listening to women and their families. I want the individual experiences of ordinary people to form the backbone of our Review.
“I also want to hear from all the professionals that work so hard to make maternity services what they are today. We need to know what people expect from maternity services, what they are like now, and what they could be in the future.”