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Anne-Marie Goodall Acting Matron Community Midwives St Marys Hospital

Every day, around 100 Greater Manchester women find out they are pregnant.

To help women get in touch with their local midwives, a Greater Manchester-wide telephone service has been set up on 0800 121 4400. Women contacting this number will be put through to their local midwifery service.

The Direct to Midwife campaign supports national maternity policy.

June 2009 Dear GP Direct access to midwives As you know, earlier access to maternity care has health benefits for mum and baby and it is believed that direct access to a midwife may help achieve this. NHS North West is an early adopter site for the implementation of Maternity Matters (1997) the latest Department of Health guidance on maternity services. Maternity Matters recommends that women should be offered the choice of how to access antenatal care, including the choice of direct access to their GP or the local midwifery service. It also advises that women should access maternity care within 12 weeks. The Greater Manchester Maternity Network, made up of consultant obstetricians and heads of midwifery across the region are running a campaign to raise womens awareness of their choices. The campaign promotes the local midwifery service as a good alternative choice, particularly in view of the pressures on General Practitioners time. The Greater Manchester Children, Young People and Families NHS Network have previously contacted each Primary Care Trusts Professional Executive Committee (PEC) to inform them of the campaign and to offer to attend a PEC meeting to discuss in more detail. The Direct to Midwife campaign is being launched in 22nd June 2009. We are hoping to gain your support in getting the messages to women and their families. Posters have been developed to let women know of their choice which will be displayed across Greater Manchester in health and other premises. Heads of Midwifery will be doing interviews on community radio to talk about the role of midwives and the benefits for them and their baby of early contact with maternity services. Staff working in the NHS and local authorities in Greater Manchester will be targeted with the key messages as well as websites of interest to new mums and special interest groups. To help those women who dont know how to contact their local midwifery service, an enquiry line, run by NHS Direct, will be used to offer a central point of contact and transfer to the local midwifery service. I hope that your practice will help women know that direct access to their midwife is an option for them and help to encourage more women to do this, particularly when they have no significant medical problems. Yours sincerely,

Mr Michael Maresh Consultant Obstetrician Clinical Lead, Greater Manchester Maternity Network

In central Manchester the community midwifery team have introduced first point of contact.

Earlier access to a midwife means screening tests can be booked and all information given in the correct time frame.

Offer home visit if appropriate. Ensure a link worker is booked if applicable. The Radio Room at St Marys ensure messages are taken and passed to the appropriate community midwifery team.