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What maternity services can learn from community-based continuity of care models


Hannah Rayment-Jones (Left): Get to know communities – on their terms and on their turf


Delegates at this year’s BAME Birthing With Colour Conference in London will hear how community-based continuity of care offers a useful model for building relationships, confidence and trust among expectant mothers from the BAME Communities writes Ryan Collins

Midwife and PhD fellow Hannah Rayment-Jones will present evidence that demonstrates improved clinical outcomes and experiences for expectant mothers from the BAME Communities when midwives and medical professionals are based inside the communities they are serving.

“Working in the local health centres, and getting to know communities – on their terms and on their turf – is key to building trust and effective relationships” says Mrs Rayment-Jones evoking the image of the traditional community midwifery model.


One obstacle facing women accessing maternity services is fragmented care

One obstacle facing women accessing maternity services is fragmented care, with women often seeing different healthcare providers throughout there pregnancy. This system does not allow for the time to build nurturing relationships and understand familial and social networks, religious affiliations and local support services.

The current structure of standard maternity care means that the voices of expectant mothers can become silenced as they struggle to navigate unfamiliar, complex systems, and have little opportunity to develop meaningful relationships. This may have an impact on how able women feel to disclose sensitive issues or escalate concerns says Mrs Rayment-Jones, now in the final year of an NIHR-funded PhD researching how maternity care can improve clinical outcomes and experiences for women with social risk factors. “This puts both the mother and the unborn child at risk.”


Many women perceive health care services as a system of surveillance rather than support

“Access to services, appropriate education, interpreters, practical support, and continuity of care is particularly relevant for women who are unfamiliar with the United Kingdom system," concludes Mrs Rayment-Jones. “For women with experience of trauma, or those who lack a sense of control, a trusting relationship with a healthcare professional is key to regaining trust. Many women perceive health care services as a system of surveillance rather than support - an obvious barrier to engagement. This, as well as experiences of paternalistic care and discrimination, can be mitigated through trusting relationships.”


About Hannah Rayment-Jones

Hannah's Rayment-Jones will be leading a workshop at this year’s BAME Maternity Birthing With Colour Conference in London.

Mrs Rayment-Jones has worked in a range of clinical midwifery settings, including the award-winning caseload team at Imperial College NHS Trust, providing continuity of care for socially vulnerable women and a successful homebirth service. Her research interests focus on improving perinatal morbidity, mortality, and experiences of women with low socioeconomic status and those living socially complex lives. She is committed to ensuring the patient voice is heard in the research and implementation process.


About BAME Birthing With Colour


BAME Birthing With Colour is a one day conference organised by registered charity The Brun Bear Foundation in association with a top team of healthcare professionals led by Helen Knower, Director of Midwifery, Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust.


The conference’s objectives are to draw together medical professionals, policy makers, the third sector, community groups and mothers themselves for an outstanding programme that helps shape, deliver, direct and influence higher standards of BAME Maternity care.


Proceeds from the day – which is being organised on an entirely voluntary basis – will support relevant medical and other causes.


For more information including speaking, attendance, sponsorship, media and supporting organisation opportunities please email team@bamematernity.com


To secure your ticket please visit www.bamematernity.com


Author: Ryan Collins

Subeditor: Edwin Lampert


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