A new pilot service, which will further enhance midwifery care, has been launched by the Maternity Department at Portiuncula University Hospital (PUH). The pilot will offer postnatal clinic appointments to all women on day five and day ten after their baby is born. This is in addition to the service currently being provided by GPs and Public Health Nursing.
Women will be invited to attend a clinic in Athlone, Loughrea or Ballinasloe depending on where they live. Each appointment will consist of a 45-minute consultation with a midwife who will carry out a full mother and baby check. Referrals and follow-up care will be provided as clinically required.
In addition, a midwife is available two hours a day, seven days a week, to provide postnatal support over the phone to the women.
“The aim of the service is to provide enhanced postnatal care, early signposting for additional services, breastfeeding support and reduce postnatal admission,” said Rebecca Colohan, Clinical Midwife Manager 2, Portiuncula University Hospital.
“The idea for this service was developed following a patient engagement survey where feedback revealed the need for improved postnatal midwifery care. We were delighted to be selected as a pilot site by the HSE’s National Women and Infants Health Programme and secured funding for two additional midwives and part-time administrative support to roll out this pilot”.
Deirdre Naughton, Director of Midwifery at the hospital added: “This service is a core component of the National Maternity Strategy’s Model of Care of establishing a community midwifery service, as an outreach service from the hospital.
“Working alongside our Public Health Nursing colleagues and GPs, it will assist us in providing women with integrated care as close to home as possible”.