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Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust (MTW) has been awarded £16,000 as part of a drive to make the NHS one of the safest places in the world to have a baby.

This award will be spent on simulation equipment, including baby resuscitation manikins, birthing abdomen models and intubation trainers. This equipment will help midwives, doctors and ambulance staff learn about and practice a range of labour and birth scenarios, to ensure they are confident and skilled in dealing with all situations they might be faced with. It will also allow healthcare staff, in a hospital or community setting, to have confidence to support women in their choice of where to give birth to their baby – be it at home, in hospital, or in a birth centre. This will hopefully lead to an enhanced and positive experience for women under the Trust’s maternity care.

The money is part of a fund of more than £2million which the Department of Health has awarded to trusts across the country, as part of the Government’s commitment to halve the number of stillbirths, neo natal deaths, maternal deaths and brain injuries occurring during or soon after birth by 2030.
Jenny Cleary, Head of Midwifery, said: “We want to provide women with the best care possible, including a wide range of birth options, and support from knowledgeable, confident maternity staff. This money will help us enhance our staff’s skills and confidence and will help women in our area to have the birth experience they really want.”

Health Minister Ben Gummer said: “It is my ambition to ensure the NHS is one of the safest places in the world to have a baby. Our staff do an excellent job providing high quality care but it is vital that they have the right equipment to continue to do this, that’s why I am really pleased that so many trusts will benefit from this fund.

“I am determined to ensure we do everything we can to reduce the number of families going through the heartache of stillbirth, neo natal death, maternal death and brain injury occurring during or soon after birth.”

As part of its campaign to improve maternity safety, the Government is also investing £500,000 to develop a new system to be used consistently across the NHS so staff can review and learn from every stillbirth and neonatal death. As well as £1million to roll out training packages so staff have the skills and confidence they need to deliver world-leading safe care and £365 million to improve perinatal mental health services.

Ministers will work with top consultants, midwives and other experts both across this country and internationally to ensure the very best practice is applied across the NHS. There is also a drive to improve the data available to staff and patients.

This focus on improving maternity services is part of a wider commitment by the Government, backed by a £10billion investment in the NHS, to ensure all patients receive the very best care 24 hours a day, seven days a week.