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National Compassionate Care Accolade for Hospital Maternity Staff

EXPO 2018. Credit: Victor De Jesus.

East Lancashire Hospitals’ reputation for compassionate care was confirmed last week when maternity staff from the Lancashire Women and Newborn Centre won the NHS70 Kate Granger Award for Compassionate Care 2018.

In 2016, a multi-disciplinary team of obstetricians, midwives, theatre staff and anaesthetists introduced ‘skin-to-skin’ caesarean births which promote immediate contact of baby and mum following elective caesarean delivery.

And now the team’s commitment to involving mothers in designing the caesarean skin-to-skin option has been recognised as they steeped on stage at the NHS Expo in Manchester to receive the NHS70 Kate Granger Award for Compassionate Care 2018.

“Winning the Kate Granger Award for Compassionate Care is a fantastic achievement for the entire maternity team at East Lancashire Hospitals,” says Consultant Obstetrician and UCLan Honorary Senior Lecturer, Mrs Liz Martindale.

“Dr. Kate Granger was an inspiration to many, many NHS staff. To receive this award named in her honour – for an innovation which puts the birth preferences of women first – is both wonderful and an achievement we believe she would be delighted with.

The Kate Granger Compassionate Care Awards are named in honour of the late Dr. Kate Granger who worked tirelessly to raise awareness around compassion in the NHS through her #hellomynameis campaign.

Kate’s husband, Chris Pointon, was on hand at the NHS Expo to present the Burnley birth team with their award which reflects ELHT’s success in becoming the first NHS Trust to formally establish a ‘skin-to-skin’ caesarean standard.

Many of the 1,600 mothers who give birth each year via caesarean section at the Lancashire Women and Newborn Centre say how the new option revolutionised their birth experience and made for a much more relaxing and peaceful entrance to the world for their baby.

‘I did not have the chance for early skin-skin with my previous baby and felt that I missed out,” says Barnoldswick mum, Eva Babiker. “Having that opportunity this time around made such a positive difference to my birth experience.”

Since introducing the skin-to-skin caesarean option, maternity staff have seen an increase in mothers-to-be and couples requesting early skin-to-skin for a caesarean birth.

“We received many requests from couples wishing for a ‘gentler’, more personal caesarean birth experience, and hospital staff have worked together to provide immediate and sustained skin-to-skin contact,” added Mrs Martindale.

“Immediate skin-to-skin contact offers many benefits including an increase in breastfeeding initiation, decreased time to the first breastfeed, increased bonding and stronger maternal satisfaction.”

2018 is the second time in three years the Kate Granger Award for Compassionate Care has been awarded to East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust after hospital porter John Jackson received the Award in 2016.