Children's centres help deliver ante-natal lessons

A SHORTAGE of midwives locally has led to the temporary suspension of ante-natal classes run by them at children s centres. But the centres themselves are taking up the slack. Ante-natal clinics are not affected. Like other NHS trusts in England, the Nort

A SHORTAGE of midwives locally has led to the temporary suspension of ante-natal classes run by them at children's centres. But the centres themselves are taking up the slack. Ante-natal clinics are not affected.Like other NHS trusts in England, the Northern Devon Healthcare Trust is having difficulty recruiting midwives and currently has nine vacancies. To continue to offer women personal and individual care and a safe service in labour, it took the decision to temporarily reduce some less essential parts of the midwifery service. Children's centres in Northern Devon will continue with their 'preparation for parenthood' classes, augmenting them with ante-natal information. NHS midwives will attend those classes where such things as pain relief, stages of labour and NHS facilities will be discussed. Expectant mothers can also discuss any aspect of pregnancy, labour or birth at their regular appointments with their midwife.Bideford Bay Children's Centre manager, Jane Kivlin, explained: "Together, we've worked out a new programme of ante-natal classes to try to fill the gap left by the temporary suspension of the midwives' classes."Janet Phipps, general manager for women and children at the Northern Devon Healthcare Trust said, "This is a great solution and we are grateful for the co-operation of our colleagues and partners in the community in providing ante-natal services. We have made these arrangements to continue to give our women excellent care at a time when they need it. The safety of mothers and babies is paramount and we plan our services accordingly."All children's centres across North Devon will be providing ante-natal classes. Expectant mothers will be given details of the classes by their midwives. They can attend classes at any of North Devon's Children's Centres. Contact numbers are: Bideford Bay Children's Centre 01237 425752; My Start Children's Centre, Ilfracombe 01271 865825; Victoria House Children's Centre, Barnstaple 01271 321411; Bluecoat Children's Centre, Torrington 01805 625830; Holsworthy Children's Centre 01409 253508; South Molton and District Children's Centre 01769 579615; and Sticklepath Children's Centre 01271 379853.


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