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North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust - 70 years of the NHS


Home > News > Award winning community midwives scheme

Award winning community midwives scheme

Posted on Thursday 10th November 2011

Community Midwife Christina Feltham, new mum Jemma Hannah with son Joss Skelton, Csrlisle Fire Station Manager Craig Drinkald and Midwife Nicki Bourne

The close partnership between the community midwife team in Carlisle and the Carlisle Fire Service has resulted in a trial project aimed at new parents signing up to a free home safety visit from the Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service.

The community midwife team in Carlisle has been working alongside the Carlisle Fire Service for the past year with the aim to protect new parents and babies from the risk of fire. The partnership has involved the community midwife team holding ante-natal clinics in the community rooms at Carlisle fire station every Thursday. This arrangement has proved to be very successful with the city centre location helping midwives to get some ‘hard to reach’ expectant mothers into the clinic.

Fire statistics show that properties with small children are at a higher risk of injuries or deaths caused by fire. The arrival of a new baby into the home is a time of change in an adult’s life, their sleep will be varied and they may feel under stress. It is also a time when adults generally start to look at safety in the home, including the fitting of stair gates and cupboard locks.

Currently, Carlisle maternity unit delivers approximately 1800 babies per year. A community midwife is assigned to each expectant mother and they make a series of home visits. During the first visit, the midwife can refer people onto Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service’s free home safety visit service by providing them with a form to fill in. The midwife can then take the form and post it back using the free post service. It is hoped that the initiative will be rolled out across the whole county if the pilot is a success.

On 30 September, Carlisle Fire Station and the Carlisle Maternity Unit won the Excellence in Partnership Award at the Together Towards Success Awards in Barrow. The partnership was recognised for their innovative project that seeks to protect some of the most vulnerable members of our community – expectant mothers and newborn babies – from the risk of fire. The awards were held by Cumbria County Council’s Fire and Rescue Service and paid tribute to inspirational people who have helped victims and communities to deal with major incidents in the county.

Anne Musgrave, Head of Midwifery at North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “We are extremely proud of our partnership with the Carlisle Fire Service. Our ante-natal clinics in the fire station have proved to be a great success with the advantage of the city centre location. We look forward to continuing to work with the fire service to ensure that new parents are aware of the provision of free home safety visits, keeping both them and their new baby safe.”