If you are pregnant and identify as Black, Asian or any other minoritised ethnicity, we want you to be HEARD.
What is the HEARD in Maternity campaign?
We know that across the country, Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) pregnant women are up to five times more likely to experience poor outcomes during pregnancy, including a higher risk of maternal and neonatal death.
To tackle these issues and ensure we are providing every mother with the best care possible, Croydon Health Services NHS Trust has launched the HEARD (Health Equity and Racial Disparity) in Maternity campaign.
Although the exact reasons for poorer outcomes are not known, this campaign aims to highlight and reduce the impact of some issues that may potentially contribute to increased risk, as well as improve experiences and health outcomes for the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic pregnant women and families who access our maternity services.
What does that mean for me and my baby?
We have put together a recommended care pathway to ensure that you receive the best possible experience during your time with us, and that you feel listened to and HEARD at every step of the journey. This involves:
Early folic acid and vitamin D…can help to reduce the risk of problems with a baby’s development in the first few weeks of pregnancy. We recommend taking a multivitamin including vitamin D throughout your pregnancy, and your midwife can provide this for you at your booking appointment and throughout pregnancy.
Booking for care early in pregnancy…enables us to provide you with information about your pregnancy, ensure scan appointments are on time, take important screening bloods from you and refer you to see any specialist services if needed to ensure you receive the best care possible.
Access to interpreting services…is available at every appointment if required. We aim to use face to face interpreters where ever possible, to ensure you understand the care we offer and we can listen to your questions.
Understanding your personalised risk assessment… All pregnant women are risk assessed and allocating a Red, Amber or Green rating depending of the level of support required. This allows us to take into account your personal circumstances as well as using recognised research to recommend the best care for you. It also helps to identify any additional support that may be of benefit.
Multi-disciplinary care…BAME women are more susceptible to certain conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure. This may mean that you could have slightly more appointments to monitor your health and ensure the best outcomes for you and your baby.
Attending all appointments and scans…is vital to ensuring that you and your baby are well cared for. If attending appointments is difficult for you, or you need to change an appointment please let us know. We are here to help.
Glucose tolerance test for gestational diabetes…will be offered to you at either 16 or 26-28 weeks depending on your circumstances. Gestational diabetes occurs when your body cannot not produce enough insulin, a hormone that helps to control your blood sugar. Gestational diabetes can increase the risks of complication in pregnancy but the risk is reduced with early detection (at 28 weeks) and well managed.
If you have concerns about your pregnancy…
Before 16 weeks pregnant, please see your GP for less urgent concerns or contact the Early Pregnancy Unit triage service for non-emergency medical advice on 020 8401 3310 between 8am – 9am, Monday - Friday. If you have an urgent or emergency need i.e. if you are having vaginal bleeding, please attend the Emergency Department.
After 16 weeks, please call Maternity Triage 02084013853 - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for all pregnancy related medical concerns. This includes reduced movements, pain, bleeding, if you think that your waters have gone or labour is starting.
For general pregnancy and appointment enquires please call the Community Midwives office Monday - Sunday between 7:30am – 2:30pm (please leave a message if out of these hours and someone will call you back). You can also email your community team. The email address will be on the front of your green notes.
How we can support you to be HEARD
Our aim is that all of our staff provide you with respectful and unbiased high quality care, and we are all here to listen to any worries or concerns you have.
However, if you feel that you have experienced bias due to your ethnicity, or that you have not been adequately heard, please reach out to our HEARD in Maternity advocate team for further support.
Alternatively, you can contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) who will be happy to help you.
Telephone 020 8401 3210
or email CH-TR.PALS@nhs.net