New homebirth team at Homerton hospital
I went to the newish Hackney homebirth support group last night (http://hackneyhomebirth.tumblr.com/). Angela, from the new Homerton homebirth team, came along for the first hour to explain the new system and it sounds great!- the new team is keen for women to book with them directly avoiding any GPs/midwives who have anti-homebirth agendas and to ensure continuity of care from the beginning. She’s going to share the best contact details for this with me and I’ll pass them on to you.- they have restructured. Instead of there being a nominal ‘home-birth lead’ in each of the 6 zones (who was often caught up running clinics and unavailable for homebirths) there are 6, non-zoned, dedicated team members who will not be running clinics and performing non-homebirth related duties.-they are going to work long days (8am-8pm) and have got rid of the ‘c1’ shift which meant that no-one was really taking responsibility for homebirths between 4pm and 8pm.- there will always be 2, and often 3, of the team on call day or night. There will also be two community midwives on back-up call and a commitment that if you’ve booked a homebirth you should be able to have a homebirth and that staffing issues shouldn’t get in the way. Anyone ringing up delivery suite who is told to come in due to staffing issues should be firm and not get in to a big dialogue about it, just insist they send someone out.-they are trying to work out a new system for birth call-outs, ideally so that people don’t have to go through delivery suite. In the meantime they have moved to a pager system which will eliminate the possibility of people forgetting to turn their phones on (!!!) which was apparently an issue previously-they are going to raise the visibility of homebirths in the area and drive to raise the homebirth rate now that there’s a proper team in place. They are keen to listen to ideas on how to do this.-Angela felt that women should be able to book a homebirth at any time, even in early labour. Again she’s going to give me her details should anyone have a last minute change of mind and want to stay at home.I think that’s everything. It seemed very positive and she was quite evangelical about it. Fingers crossed.