Partnership project to help mums and babies wins national award

A health and social care partnership programme to help expectant mothers has scooped first place in a national award.

Melissa Simpson, the Doncaster Children’s Services Trust lead on the multi-agency Pregnancy Liaison Meeting (PLM) team and the scheme’s founder, Debbie Rees-Pollard, midwife at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals (DBTH), took the glittering accolade of the Partnership Working title at the national Royal College of Midwives’ 2018 awards in London.

Upon winning the award, sponsored by Slimming World, Debbie and Melissa said: “We are both thrilled to have won this award and want to say a huge thank you to our respective teams and everyone else who has worked hard to ensure that the project has been a success.”

The Pregnancy Liaison Meeting is held to discuss clients who are less than 16 weeks into pregnancy, who have current or historic safeguarding concerns. It can involve universal and early help services and social care, which improves the safety and outcomes for unborn babies.

Allowing for clear communication between agencies involved with the family, the initiative involves having monthly meetings with all relevant health and social care professionals to ensure that information is shared effectively and in time to ensure the best possible care for mothers and babies.

Debbie came up with the idea for the PLM four years ago, pre-Trust, when she felt many mums in need of help were falling through the net.

Commenting on the award, Doncaster Children’s Services Trust Chief Executive Paul Moffat said: “Everyone at the Trust would like to congratulate Melissa and Debbie. Their pioneering work in the borough has resulted in mothers and babies receiving the right support at the right time. The Trust is always keen to work in partnership with other services and the Pregnancy Liaison Meeting is an example of how this can have a positive impact on local families.”

Moira Hardy, Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professionals at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals (DBTH), said: “On behalf of everyone at DBTH, I want to congratulate Debbie and Melissa. This partnership working showcases how, by working together across services, we can ensure our mums-to-be in Doncaster receive the support, care and advice they need throughout their pregnancy.”

Since launching, the project has been so successful that neighbouring local authorities and clinical commissioning groups are looking to replicate its approach in other areas.

Gill Walton, Chief Executive and General Secretary of the Royal College of Midwives, said: “This is such a great example of how cooperation between health and social care professionals can really make a difference to women and babies. I congratulate Debbie and Melissa on their award and for their commitment and dedication to the people they care for; it is well deserved.”

“If it wasn’t for my social worker I would have still been in the gutter.”

Parent supported by the central team

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