New service to reassure expectant mothers

PREGNANT women will be able to avoid unnecessary journeys and seek reassurance from a midwife thanks to a new hospital service which is being trialled this week.

All pregnancy-related calls to the Eastbourne District General Hospital and Conquest Hospital in Hastings are fielded by a senior triage midwife who decides the right treatment for each caller.

Health authorities aim to cut back on unnecessary hospital admissions and ease pressure on maternity units.

The East Sussex Hospitals Trust, which runs the two hospitals, also hopes to scale back on patients’ wasted journeys to the hospital during the service’s three-month trial.

Specialist midwife Alison Newby said, “The service will provide women with access to high quality and consistent support and advice at the first point of contact and will decrease unnecessary admission to the maternity units.”

The midwife takes a detailed history of the mother-to-be and chooses whether to send a community midwife, assign them to the Day Assessment Unit, advise them to contact their GP, send them to the delivery suite or antenatal ward or just stay put at home.

Chair of the Save the DGH Campaign Liz Walke said, “It sounds very sensible, although I don’t know if you’re a pregnant women concerned about her baby, advice over the telephone would allay fears.

“I definitely agree with the benefit they say will avoid unnecessary travel.

“One of the main concerns of the campaign group was, and still is, women from Eastbourne and surrounding area having to travel to Hastings to give birth and vice versa for those women to the east of the county. This is just so dangerous.

“It’ll be very interesting to see how women view this trial.”

To use the service which runs between Monday and Thursday, call the triage midwife on 01424 758091 between 8.30am and 7pm.