Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Midwifes Show How to Manage Seamless Care; as a North East Health Trust Prepares to Join Hospital and Community Services, Health Reporter HELEN RAE Looks at How This Crossboundary Model of Care Is Already Bringing Benefits for Patients

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Midwifes Show How to Manage Seamless Care; as a North East Health Trust Prepares to Join Hospital and Community Services, Health Reporter HELEN RAE Looks at How This Crossboundary Model of Care Is Already Bringing Benefits for Patients

Article excerpt

Byline: HELEN RAE

FROM the beginning of next month a North East health trust will take over the management of hospital and community services in parts of the region.

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, which currently manages community and general hospitals in Northumberland and North Tyneside, will take over responsibility for running community-based services in the hospitals' catchment area.

Community services cover a wide range of care.

The professionals involved include district nurses, health visitors, community matrons, community cardiologists, emergency care practitioners, speech and language therapists, occupational therapists, podiatrists, physiotherapists, palliative care staff, community dentists and sexual health staff.

In Northumberland, they also include social workers and other staff who provide social care to vul-nerable people. These changes will mean that the trust can further improve quality by creating a more seamless pathway of care for patients.

A way of seeing how these changes will work in practice is to look at the service provided by community midwives.

This is already managed by the trust and this integrated model of care acts as a blueprint of how the new arrangements will work post-April 1. Janice McNichol, head of midwifery at the trust, said: "The community midwives have always been employed by Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. However, they work in the community. "They have always crossed the boundaries traditionally not covered by the trust which has resulted in huge benefits for the women and babies.

"We have modelled our service around these arrangements and we know no other way of working.

"The community midwives work in close partnership with their colleagues in hospitals at all stages of a woman's care. This ensures there are no interruptions and women receive a seamless service. …

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