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Glossary

Posted in Our consultations

Alongside Midwife-led Unit: This is a unit which is located on the same site as the Consultant-led Unit. Care in these units is provided by midwives and maternity support workers. If the support of a doctor is needed there is direct access to the Consultant-led Unit. Currently this is based at the Princess Royal Hospital but in the future this will be based at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, following the Future Fit changes.

Anaesthetist: A doctor who has received specialist training in anaesthesia. Anaesthetics are the drugs used by anaesthetists during tests and surgical operations to numb sensation in certain areas of the body or induce sleep.

Antenatal care: The care provided to a woman during her pregnancy.

Better Births: Published in 2016, Better Births sets out the NHS’ national five year vision for maternity services to become safer, more personalised, kinder, professional and more family friendly:  https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/national-maternity-review-report.pdf 

Birthrate Plus: A method which NHS hospitals use to calculate how many midwives and maternity support workers are needed.

Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG): NHS organisations responsible for planning and buying healthcare services on your behalf. For Shropshire this is NHS Shropshire CCG and for Telford and Wrekin this is NHS Telford and Wrekin CCG.

Consultant-led Unit (sometimes called Obstetric Unit): This is a maternity unit that is staffed by a team including midwives, maternity support workers, obstetricians, anaesthetists and support staff. Care for women giving birth is often provided by midwives but doctors are involved if needed.

Freestanding Midwife-led Unit: This is a unit which is not on the same site as the Consultant-led Unit. Care in Freestanding Midwifery Units is provided by midwives and maternity support workers. Currently this is based at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital but in the future will be based at the Princess Royal Hospital, following the conclusion of the Future fit consultation in January 2019. Freestanding Midwife-led units have the same level of care and back-up as a home birth. Women are transferred by ambulance to the consultant unit if they need a higher level of care during labour.

Healthwatch: An independent consumer champion for the public, patients, health and care service users, and their carers and families. Our local organisations are Healthwatch Telford & Wrekin and Healthwatch Shropshire.

High risk pregnancy: A high risk pregnancy is one where the mother and/or unborn baby have a higher risk of complications, either due to pre-existing medical conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes or a condition that arises during pregnancy such as pre-eclampsia. A woman’s age, weight, previous pregnancy history and whether she is expecting twins will all determine whether a pregnancy will be categorised as high risk. 

Home birth: This is when a baby is delivered at home with a midwife in attendance.

Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (HOSC): The Joint HOSC consists of elected members of Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin Councils. Its role is to closely look at health issues that affect communities across Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin. 

Long Term Plan: Published in January 2019, the national Long Term Plan sets out the NHS’ vision to deliver ambitious improvements for patients over the next 10 years. The local NHS and the two councils are developing a local Long Term Plan.

Low risk pregnancy: A low risk pregnancy is one where no particular medical risk factors, such as certain long-term medical conditions, infections or complications with previous pregnancies, have been identified before labour starts.

Maternity hubs: These are places in local communities where women can get a range of advice, support and care related to pregnancy and parenthood. This includes antenatal and postnatal care, scans and appointments with an obstetrician. It is also where women could access a range of specialist health services, for example, help to stop smoking, support with mental health problems or advice on reaching a healthy weight.

Maternity Support Workers: Formerly known as Women’s Support Assistants, Maternity Support Workers assist and support midwives in the clinical care of women and their babies.

Midwifery care (or midwife-led care): This is where maternity care is led by midwives.

NHS England: NHS England is working together with NHS Improvement to lead the National Health Service (NHS) in England, setting the priorities and direction of the NHS to improve health and care. As of 1 April 2019, they are operating as a new single organisation to better support the NHS to deliver improved care for patients.

NHS Improvement: NHS Improvement is working together with NHS England to lead the National Health Service (NHS) in England, setting the priorities and direction of the NHS to improve health and care. As of 1 April 2019, they are operating as a new single organisation to better support the NHS to deliver improved care for patients.

Obstetrician: A doctor with special training in how to care for pregnant women and help in the birth of babies.

Perinatal mental health services: Care and support that is available for women who have mental health needs either during pregnancy or within the first year after having a baby. 

Postnatal care: Care provided to a mother and her new born baby immediately after birth and in the first six weeks of life.