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DEPUTY MINISTER LAUNCHES PUBLIC HEALTH MIDWIFERY

December 12, 2005 11:45 AM

NHS Greater Glasgow was today delighted to welcome the Deputy Minister for Health and Community Care, Lewis Macdonald, to officially launch the Public Health Midwifery strategy.

Glasgow has long been associated with deprivation and ill health but in 2000 a Consultant Midwife was appointed in Public Health to develop and implement consistent midwifery services across the city.

The result of that appointment has seen midwives take a much more involved role in the social needs of pregnant women.

Today, Glasgow's midwives help women with a range of social problems including nutrition, smoking, exercise and mental health.

Many women i.e. women seeking refuge or asylum, teenagers and women with complex social needs, often require enhanced services to deal with their many problems.

Deputy Minister for Health and Community Care, Lewis Macdonald said: "I want to make sure our children get the best possible start in life. We know that smoking, drinking and poor diet impact on an adult's health, but this project is an excellent idea as it highlights the impact these behaviours can have on children and even the unborn child.

"Midwives have a unique and pivotal role throughout pregnancy and offer invaluable support to families after birth. This project is a good example of midwives working with families and also being able to ensure that the most vulnerable families receive the support that they need.

"I want to congratulate Greater Glasgow Health Board on this approach which aims to change attitudes, as well as working with other professions to ensure that young families get the tailored help and support they need. I look forward to seeing the benefits of the project as it is rolled out across the city."

Ann Holmes, Consultant Midwife, NHS Greater Glasgow, has been working with clinical midwifery managers and midwives to take forward the development of the consistent midwifery services across Glasgow.

She said:"The priorities for midwives include nutrition, smoking, exercise, mental health, teenage pregnancy, substance misuse, homelessness and violence.Midwives have received training around the identified public health priorities, which has prepared them to complete the midwives public health assessment. A midwives resource pack has been developed which contains pathways of care and signposting to local voluntary and statutory agencies that can assist women and families to address their public health needs.

"A three tier service model has been developed comprising a baseline service for all women, enhanced services for teenagers and women seeking asylum or refuge, and a dedicated service for women with the most complex social and substance misuse needs.

"NHS Greater Glasgow now has a service model across the city which enhances services which were already there."

ENDS

Notes to Editors

There are currently 3 maternity units across the city, delivering approximately 11,000 babies per year.

The public health strategy was one of the first to take a cross-city approach with the model of care being implemented in all sites.

There are currently 800 midwives in the city; all midwives have access to the midwives education and resource packs.

For further media information contact 0141 201 4429.

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