Who's who?

During your pregnancy you may see some or all of these members of our integrated maternity team. If you are unsure as to what our role is, please ask. We will all be more than happy to answer any queries and concerns you may have.


The word midwife means "with woman".  A midwife can be male or female and their role is to look after you and your baby's wellbeing during pregnancy, labour and the period after your baby is born.  This includes measures aimed at preventing health problems in pregnancy, the detection of abnormal conditions and requesting medical assistance when necessary.

Obstetric team

A consultant obstetrician is a doctor who has successfully completed specialised training in the management of women who have more complicated pregnancies, labours and the post natal period. Southend Hospital is a university teaching hospital and you may also meet doctors who are working in the structured specialist training programme supported by the consultants.

Student midwives

Student midwives work alongside experienced midwives on placements throughout the hospital and community settings. They are undertaking a course of study at Anglia Ruskin University. They work under close supervision and only undertake tasks they have been trained to do. If you would prefer not to have a student midwife participating in your care please discuss this with your midwife.

Maternity support worker [MSW]

An MSW is employed to work both within the hospital and the community setting. In all settings they are a very important member of the integrated maternity team. They will work without the need for direct supervision in some circumstances, however they will always have very clear channels of communication with a midwife on a daily basis to ensure any concerns around the you or your baby's care are escalated appropriately.

Health care assistant [HCA]

An HCA is employed predominately in the hospital setting ensuring that the physical needs of those accessing our care are met.  They may undertake limited clinical duties, for example taking your blood pressure.

Domestic staff

These staff work tirelessly to keep the wards clean and tidy and the equipment used in your care both clean and functioning effectively.

Clerical team

The clerical staff are the first point of contact for patients and visitors to the trust.  They work as key members of the reception and ward teams, providing administrative support and cover across maternity, gynaecology clinics and maternity wards.  Their duties include: 

  • Maintaining patient records relating to each specific clinic, using information supplied by clinician/s.
  • Making appointments for all patients attending clinics and issue appointment letters.
  • Answering the telephone 


Anaesthetists are doctors who have completed their medical training and chosen to complete further training to become an anaesthetist. You will see these doctors if you want an epidural or need to go to the operating theatre.


A paediatrician is a doctor who undertakes the medical care of infants and children.

Health visitor

The health visitor is a qualified registered nurse, midwife, children's nurse or psychiatric nurse with specialist qualifications in community health, which includes child health, health promotion and education.  Your health visitor has unique professional expertise to deliver universal child and family health services. She will work closely with your local children's centres and other partners to ensure that all families have access to the support they need when children are in their early years. This is a partnership between you both focusing on your own and your child's health and well being. She will help families stay in touch with wider sources of support and lead on health improvement on subjects such as healthy eating, accident prevention and emotional wellbeing.


All staff you meet during your pregnancy, the birth of your baby and after your baby is born should introduce themselves to you. All will be wearing some form of identification badge. If you do not know who the person undertaking your care or visiting you at home is please do not be afraid to ask them for their name and role in your care.