Journey to Parenthood personalised care plan for maternity

10 Dec 2021, 4:19 p.m.

The Gloucestershire Local Maternity system is launching a new Journey to Parenthood document that provides a personalised care plan for parents-to-be in Gloucestershire.

From 15 December, the Journey to Parenthood document will be provided in the hand-held notes that people carry with them while pregnant and provides an easy, step-by-step guide of things that people need to consider and discuss at each stage of their pregnancy. This will be be discussed and recorded at the first booking appointment and brought to every clinical contact throughout their maternity journey.

The personalised care and support planning in the Journey to Parenthood supports the idea of a different kind of conversation that focuses on what matters to women and their families as well as their clinical and support needs. This leads to an integrated plan that is owned by the individual, as well as being accessible to all the caregivers supporting the pregnancy.

The Journey to Parenthood allows people to record their expectations about being pregnant, giving birth and becoming a parent; their home/family/professional life and support networks; previous experiences of pregnancy and childbirth; fears and concerns; information on tests and screening, place of birth and pain relief options; physical and mental health needs.

It is designed to ensure that women and their families are listened to and understood in a way that builds trust and an effective relationship with her midwifery, obstetric or multidisciplinary team. Decision-making tools such as BRAIN are used in the conversation where appropriate and decisions around the woman’s and baby’s needs and care are documented and reviewed. People can also be supported with their choices if they are outside routine guidance.

Gloucestershire Hospitals Head of Midwifery Lisa Stephens said: “We know that personalised care means safe care. We should not underestimate the impact of a personalised care plan on patient experience. This is truly about putting people who use maternity services at the centre of their care, listening to them and ensuring that their views are heard.

“We’re currently working with our clinical teams to explain what Journey to Parenthood means for them, and we can’t wait to make these available to everyone from Wednesday 15 December when they will officially be launched.”

Gloucestershire Local Maternity and Neonatal System Lead Dawn Morrall commented: “I am really pleased that all the hard work done by so many has come to fruition in the form of this simple but effective tool. We’re so pleased that we’ve been able to involve local people in the creation of the new Journey to Parenthood and plan to gather their feedback as it rolls out over the coming year.”

Kathy Meansworth, Chair of Gloucestershire Maternity Voices explains: “It was clear that one of the main things that impacted the experiences of women, pregnant people and their families was how much they felt involved in the decisions about their care, as well as whether they were supported to understand their options and their subsequent decisions were respected. We see this as a real step forward in ensuring that everyone has access to this simple plan which encourages informed choice and joint decision making and can carry it throughout their pregnancy in their notes.”

Sarah Duffy, Health Visiting Team Leader and Better Births Health Visiting Lead said: “This is going to be such an important tool for people to use. They can have their stories heard without having to repeat this through pregnancy and beyond. It has been a privilege to be able to work jointly on the development of Journey to Parenthood. It will show families how collaborative health professionals involved in their care are”.

Teams at Gloucestershire Hospitals and Gloucestershire Health and Care launched a 14-day countdown for the introduction of the plan, which began on Wednesday 1 December.

We are committed to ensuring the NHS Long Term Plan transformation initiatives in maternity are supported, co-designed and implemented to provide the safest and most effective maternity care possible.

This is truly about putting people who use maternity services at the centre of their care, listening to them and ensuring that their views are heard.

Gloucestershire Hospitals Head of Midwifery Lisa Stephens