Maternity services in Bolton have faced a challenging year, with restrictions on visiting and addressing the concerns of expectant parents during the COVID pandemic being a key area of focus for the team running Bolton NHS Foundation Trust’s maternity unit at Royal Bolton Hospital.
However new Head of Midwifery Natasha Macdonald, who joined the Trust in October, has plans for the coming year that will see the unit develop its services and offer new clinics to support women and families during pregnancy and beyond.
These include the opening of the Rainbow Clinic last month, a specialist clinic for women and their families during a pregnancy following a stillbirth (after 24 weeks) or neonatal death.
Natasha will also be working with the team on the development of a pre-term birth clinic for women at risk of a premature birth, which will bring consultant obstetricians, midwives and other specialists from across the trust together to ensure that we help the pregnancy continue for as long as possible. The Trust has also been invited to be one of five maternity units nationally to trial an app designed to aid clinical decision making and identify pre-term birth risks, by recording data during the pregnancy which would trigger on the system when action was needed.
Other developments in the pipeline include establishing a hub to put the diverse communities we care for at the centre of what we do. Many women who do not speak English as a first language, struggle to navigate and access maternity care within their communities.
This project is hoped to get underway in early 2021 and would help to improve outcomes for women of BAME background who historically may have had worse outcomes due to language and cultural barriers.
“Coming to Bolton had a great appeal for me. I live in Cheshire and have spent a large part of my career in and around that area, but Bolton has a reputation for quality maternity care and a well earnt place as one of the best units in Greater Manchester.
“We deliver around a quarter of all the babies that are born in Greater Manchester each year, and that makes it a really interesting and diverse place to work.
“On a personal level I am really enjoying getting to know the people and the place, I love the sense of humour and how unique Bolton is. I’m really looking forward to continuing the great work the team have done to develop maternity services for families in this area and beyond.”
For more information on Bolton’s maternity services, please visit the Trust’s website https://www.boltonft.nhs.uk/services/maternity/.