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Home > News > Community midwives and Carlisle fire service are awarded for their innovative partnership

Community midwives and Carlisle fire service are awarded for their innovative partnership

Posted on Tuesday 28th February 2012
Midwives and fire service award

L-R: Helen Adams (Community Midwife), Meredith Jardine (Maternity Manager), Craig Drinkald (Group Manager of Carlisle Fire Service), Sandra Drinkald (Midwife) and Lissa Walker (Assistant Practitioner, Community Midwifery)

The successful partnership between the community midwife team in Carlisle and the Carlisle Fire Service has resulted in them winning the Excellence in Partnership Working award at the Cumbria County Council Excellence Awards on Friday 17 February 2012.

This is the second award the partnership has received, having previously won the Excellence in Partnership award at the Together Towards Success Awards in September 2011.

The community midwife team in Carlisle from the North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust has been working alongside the Carlisle Fire Service for over a 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 and a community midwife is assigned to each expectant mother. During the booking appointment, 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.

Meredith Jardine, Maternity Manager at North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “Through our partnership working with the fire service, we are not only helping ladies through their pregnancy - we are also working towards helping them to keep safe after the birth. Families are particularly vulnerable at this time, as they are tired with the demands of a newborn baby.

“The overall aim of our partnership is to work to reduce the strain on families and to promote fire safety in the home.”