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Mum’s safety is the word as obstetric high dependency bed opens

08 March 2016

Health Care

New mums needing extra care following delivery can now be treated on the maternity unit at Southend Hospital thanks to the opening of a high dependency obstetric bed.

The hospital is now supporting these women and giving them the care they need whilst keeping mother and baby together with the introduction of a level 1 obstetric high dependency bed.

Based in the central delivery suite, this bed will allow staff to care for pregnant women who have a medical or obstetric condition that is at risk of deteriorating, and are in need of additional monitoring or clinical interventions.

Previously these women may have been transferred to the critical care unit but this move ensures continuity in their care as they are now looked after by the same team.

The maternity team of obstetricians, anaesthetists and midwives will work closely with the critical care outreach team and physicians to ensure these women have the most appropriate care to meet their often complex obstetric, medical and maternity needs.

Obstetrics & Gynaecology consultant, Miss Sahar Mohamed said: "We come across a few women who are really sick and need high dependency care over their usual normal care. These high-dependency patients have been stuck between being looked after in the normal delivery suite and not being ill enough for the critical care unit.

"This seamless care will ensure that these women have one-to-one care from a midwife who can offer midwifery care for mum and baby, as well as high dependency care. The woman will also have ready access to obstetric and high dependency expertise from the central delivery suite and the critical care outreach team."

The bed will offer a number of advantages for women requiring this level of care, including the potential for mum and baby to stay together once baby is born, providing the baby is well.

This will help to establish bonding and feeding for mum and baby and ensure the woman has the care and support she needs as a new mum as well as appropriate care for her medical and obstetric problems.

High dependency team midwife, Alex Woods said: "For patients it gives them continuity of care and that relationship we have built up all helps with the healing and recovery process. For staff, there's that joint thinking, with experts from medicine, obstetrics and midwifery all coming together. All needs are being met rather than just one aspect."

It's hoped that the establishment of the obstetric high dependency bed will enhance the services provided for ill women requiring maternity services, ensuring a holistic approach to all their needs whilst maintaining safe levels of monitoring and intervention for any obstetric and medical conditions.