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Integrated Health Service Team Shortlisted for Prestigious Award

Newsdate: 8 April 2016

WWL is delighted to announce that its Integrated Health Service Team has been shortlisted for an HSJ Value in Healthcare Award.

The HSJ (Health Service Journal) is a weekly news print title on the National Health Service and is aimed at health professionals. Its Value in Healthcare Awards aim to recognise NHS organisations that are providing improved, efficient services for their patients.

The Integrated Health Service Team (IHST) was nominated for the award in the Obstetrics and Gynaecology category. They will subsequently attend a judging day at the head offices of the HSJ, where they will be invited to give a presentation outlining why they should win the award.

Their judging day is Wednesday 13 April. They have also been invited to attend the awards ceremony, which will be held on Tuesday 24 May at Manchester Central, Windmill Street, Manchester M2 3GX.

The work of the team involves offering individualised, one-to-one holistic support to the top 2% of vulnerable pregnant women in the Wigan Borough. The team encourage vulnerable women, and their families, to make significant changes in their lives to improve the chances of a healthy life for their new-born baby. They also offer advice on how to provide for the long-term health needs of the child.

The team of three midwives and three support workers work closely with other professional agencies such as the Mental Health Team from 5 Boroughs Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and Social Care from Wigan Council to ensure the best possible outcomes for the families.

Their work is vital and also incredibly useful to the NHS from a monetary point of view. It is estimated that each year in England, £2.9 billion is spent on children in care. This is according to an independent report submitted to the UK government (Early Intervention: The Next Steps, Allen, 2011). About half of this is spent on children who have been abused. By working with the women and their families during their pregnancy, the IHST work to prevent such issues occurring, thus, hopefully, reducing costs.

Assessment for an HSJ Value in Healthcare Award also includes the need for positive outcomes for families. The IHST have achieved this and more. Among their key outcomes are:

  • Improved uptake of antenatal care
  • Increased breastfeeding initiation and endurance rates
  • Reduced levels of smoking in pregnancy and an increase in smoke-free homes
  • Improved diet and nutrition during pregnancy
  • Improve the physical and emotional health of mothers and the wider family.

The team is commissioned and funded by Wigan Council.

Families who have been through the service have been glowing in their praise. They have said things such as, “We want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all the support you have given us over the past 10 months. We wouldn’t have been able to get through a lot of it without you.”

Likewise, IHST staff have also found the experience of working with the families rewarding. One of the staff saying, “The mother involved with the service has made significant progress and engaged positively with the service. This is due to the closer positive working relationships formed and the personalised package of support.”

Diane Swindlehurst, WWL Head of Midwifery, Children and Patient’s services, was delighted that the team has been shortlisted. She said, “I would like to congratulate the Integrated Health Service Team for their outstanding work and for being shortlisted for this prestigious award. It is incredibly important to assist vulnerable women through their pregnancy for the benefit of the mother, the family and most importantly, the child.

“The team ensure positive outcomes for mothers and families enduring difficult circumstances. They also endeavour to make sure that the child has the best chance of a fulfilling, healthy life.”