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Sheffield's new Maternity Assessment Centre praised by First Time Mum

New Mum, Becci Amyes has praised the recently opened Maternity Assessment Centre at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust's Jessop Wing.

The £2.8million purpose-built high-quality centre is open to assess and care for pregnant women and birthing people, 24 hours a day 7 days a week. It was officially opened by Chief Midwifery Officer for England, Kate Brintworth on Monday 18th March 2024, who said: “I’m really pleased to see this investment in maternity services at the Trust to improve care for women, babies and families in the community. The round-the-clock support for women to receive an assessment at the centre following any concerns they may have about their pregnancy, will help to support quality and safe care."

Paige Hoyland, Lead Midwife of the new Maternity Assessment Centre, said: "The opening of the Maternity Assessment Centre has really enhanced the maternity experience of everyone using our services. Not only is it a really nice new modern environment to come into but the extension of the centre has created much more space and assessment rooms which means women are taken through to a room more quickly with plenty of space for partners to accompany them.”

Becci, age 33, was one of the first mums to access the new facility when she gave birth to baby girl, Sylvie, on the 4th April 2024.

Becci said: "After a couple of days of mild contractions at home, I called triage who advised I came in to the Maternity Assessment Centre to have baby's movements checked. I arrived at the centre with my husband Matt and was quickly taken into an assessment room. Luckily, I had my hospital bags in the car, because the midwife advised baby's movements were fine and I was actually 4cm dilated and ready to go through to a labour suite. I had requested a pool birth and was taken through to a room straight away, we couldn't believe how big the pool room was and all of the equipment available. A few hours later Sylvie was born at around 1.30am. It was incredibly intense but definitely one of the best days of my life."

"We were amazed at how modern and spotlessly clean the assessment centre was when we walked in. It was really calm and quiet and we had no wait at all really until we were assessed and then taken through to a labour suite. The midwives were really nice, they read through my birth preferences thoroughly and made such a lovely atmosphere. They were always on hand, and completing the regular checks, but also gave us space which allowed by husband to be next to the pool, coaching me and experience it all with me. I would definitely recommend Jessop Wing to expecting parents."

Laura Rumsey, Director of Midwifery at Jessop Wing said: “I am thrilled that Becci and other expectant parents are benefitting from the new facilities here at Jessop Wing. The Maternity Assessment Centre is often the first step families take towards welcoming their new baby into the world, so we take great pride in providing a safe, clean and reassuring environment which sets a calming tone for the rest of their birthing journey.”

Jessop Wing: Sheffield NHS maternity service improvements follow critical inspectors’ report

Maternity services in Sheffield have been undergoing major changes following a report by NHS inspectors a year ago that said they require improvement.

The Care Quality Commission report made after an inspection last September said that services at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital Jessop Wing required improvement, an upgrade on a previous rating of inadequate in 2021.

Sheffield City Council’s health scrutiny sub-committee (September 7) heard from NHS bosses what improvements have been put in place.

Jessop Wing midwifery director Laura Rumsey said the improvements have led to several highly-experienced staff opting to return to work in the service. In addition, 24 early career midwives start work in October and three internationally-educated midwives start over the next three months.

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Safer Sleep week

13th - 19th of March

Safer Sleep Week is The Lullaby Trust’s national awareness campaign targeting anyone looking after a young baby. It aims to raise awareness of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and the simple advice that reduces the risk of it occurring. Please click here for more information.

Sheffield dad praises emergency care received at hospital after wife almost gives birth in the back of the car

Phil Bessant, from Ecclesfield, has praised the care his wife received at the Northern General Hospital and Jessop Wing after his wife, Kathryn, went into quick labour in the back of their car.

Kathryn began displaying signs of labour on the morning of 30th July 2022. Husband Phil said: “I rang the Jessop Wing in the morning and they advised us to make our way to the hospital as it sounded like Kathryn was going in to labour. Kathryn’s mum came over to look after our other son, Evan, who is three years old, and we packed our bags and began driving to the Jessop Wing. Within 10 minutes it became apparent that the labour was happening a lot quicker than expected.”

Phil and Kathryn were driving past the Northern General Hospital when Kathryn started feeling the urge to push.

“I drove straight towards the A&E Department at the Northern General and there was just enough time for Kathryn to dive on to a trolley and we were wheeled straight through to Resus where they had an empty bay.”

Within six minutes Kathryn had given birth to baby boy, Joseph, in the A&E Department.

“I know that they don’t get many births in the A&E Department, but everything was perfect. There were loads of staff around with plenty of warm towels on hand and the medical team were all great in keeping us informed about what was happening. We are also especially thankful to Dr Dan Bradbury, the Registrar in the A&E Department, who cared for Kathryn and delivered the baby. Once Joseph was born and everybody was happy with how they were both doing, the consultant made a phone call to the Jessop Wing so that we could get transferred to the maternity unit. An ambulance took Kathryn directly to the Jessop Wing where she was checked over again by the Midwifery team. Everything was really straight forward from there. The midwives at the Jessop Wing told us to take our time, have a shower and gave us some tea and toast. The whole birth took place in about two hours, so it was rather a shock but we could not have asked for better care.”

By 10am, Kathryn, Phil and baby Joseph were all back home with their other son Evan, and the family are all doing well.

“I’m eternally grateful to all the staff in A&E and Jessop Wing for caring for my wife and delivering our new son safely and to Joe and his team at Yorkshire Ambulance for their assistance. I am incredibly grateful for the wonderful NHS care we received and I am also very grateful that I didn’t have to deliver our baby in the back of the car!”


National praise for Sheffield Hospital campaign which encourages pregnant women to access antenatal care early

NHS Trusts across the UK have praised ‘Book Before Ten’ campaign which urges women in the city to see a midwife early in pregnancy. The campaign which was launched by Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust encourages women to book in to see a midwife before reaching 10 weeks of pregnancy to access timely support and reduce risks.

The benefits of seeking timely maternity care include access to information and support, screening mothers for infections, screening baby for any abnormalities, stopping medications which may be unsafe in pregnancy, starting beneficial treatments and to arrange additional investigations. Research also shows that delayed antenatal care is associated with increased maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality.

Dr Rosselyn Ngadze, campaign lead and Obstetrics and Gynaecology Registrar at Sheffield Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said: “Booking in for timely antenatal care is really important for the safety of mothers and their baby. Women are able to access a wealth of support which can be lifesaving including smoking cessation, fetal growth monitoring, awareness about baby’s movements, vaccinations, mental health support and much more.”

“We really encourage women to look out for early signs of pregnancy including late periods, tiredness, breast tenderness and take a test as early as possible. If they test positive they should book to see a midwife before 10 weeks to ensure optimum care during pregnancy.”

The campaign which began its pilot in August last year is proving successful and is now being adopted by other Trusts across the UK to help spread the important message.

Dr Shehnaaz Jivraj, Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust led an audit of the time in which pregnant women accessed antenatal care which identified the need for the book before 10 campaign.

She said: “The 'Book Before 10' campaign started following research undertaken brought to light that even in Sheffield, where everyone has equal access to maternity care, there were stark differences in the time it took for women to access antenatal care. We are unsure why it is taking some women longer to come forward to make use of services which are available to everyone, and we are therefore really keen to ensure women know the importance of receiving early antenatal care.”

Pregnant women can contact their local GP surgery or Sheffield City Council Family Centre to make an appointment to see a midwife.


Young mother who gave birth at only 24 weeks praises care from Sheffield Hospital

Katie Dolan, aged 24 from Heckmondwike, has praised the care she received at the Jessop Wing in Sheffield after giving birth to her daughter, Niamh, at only 24 weeks and 5 days.

Katie said, “I’d been feeling unwell for a few days so my mum was staying with me to make sure I was ok. I woke up to go to the toilet and started having really strong contractions so my mum rang an ambulance.”

Within 15 minutes of her contractions starting, Katie gave birth to Niamh, who was delivered at home by her mother, Joanne Dolan. As she was born so early, Niamh had problems with her lungs and had to be resuscitated twice by Joanne before the paramedics arrived and she was taken to Pinderfields Hospital.

Katie said, “It was all quite a blur at the time, but I remember going in a separate ambulance to the hospital and having to wait a few hours before being able to see her”.

Niamh required specialist medical care and so was transferred from Pinderfields Hospital to the specialist neonatal intensive care unit at theJessop Wing in Sheffield.

“The care I received at the Jessop Wing was amazing. I felt so worried at first with her being so far away but after meeting the nurses and seeing how well she was cared for; my mind could be put to rest a little bit.”

Katie was only able to visit Niamh for a couple hours each day due to the distance and having two other children at home.

“The nurses took time to get to know Niamh and find out what comforts her best, as well as taking time to find out my preferences in how 

she was cared for, which made it a lot easier for me to feel she would be settled there.”

“The doctors made sure I understood everything about Niamh’s health and took time to speak to me when I was there to see if I had any questions, which was really reassuring. There was also one nurse called Ann who was extremely special to Niamh and my family. She really took her time to help me feel confident in caring for her and helped me get past my fears and emotions that were making me feel like I couldn’t do it. She also made sure Niamh had her own pink blanket and hat.”

Niamh was cared for at the Jessop Wing for a total of five weeks before being transferred back to Pinderfields Hospital to be closer to home. She is now on high flow oxygen therapy at Pinderfields and whilst still unwell and not quite ready to come home, has made huge progress.

“I’ll never forget how amazing all the nurses at the Jessop Wing were, we still have a long road ahead, but they were such an important part of her journey”.

“The nurses were absolutely fantastic” says Sheffield mother given emergency caesarean at 29 weeks due to COVID and pneumonia

Mona Rehman, 41 from Sheffield, gave birth to her son, Abdul, at only 29 weeks by emergency caesarean after contracting COVID-19 and pneumonia last year. Mona spent over a month in hospital receiving life-saving treatment and has since praised the care she received from staff at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Mona was initially admitted to hospital on 20th January 2021 when she was 28 weeks pregnant after suffering with a raised temperature and dehydration.

“I just felt really drained and had hot and cold shivers so ended up going to A&E at the Northern General Hospital. The doctors said that I had a urine infection and that I was dehydrated, so they put me on a drip.”

Mona was also tested for COVID-19 whilst in hospital and was found to be positive. She had a persistent cough and a chest scan revealed that she was also suffering from pneumonia, so she was transferred to a specialist COVID ward at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital.

“One morning I felt a pain on the left side of my stomach like a burning sensation. It wasn’t a contraction, I was just in so much agony. The nurse came in around 5am and all I can remember saying was ‘I feel like I’m going to die’.”

I was taken to theatre with a suspected stomach rupture thought to be due to the persistent coughing in part and because by this time my body was so weak because of COVID and the pneumonia and my oxygen levels were dropping, I had to have an emergency caesarean to deliver Abdul, at only 29 weeks. I was put on a ventilator to help with my breathing and after four days they woke me up and I remember them telling me that I’d had a baby. All I could think was that can’t be true, I’m not due until April.”

“The nurses were absolutely fantastic. I couldn’t eat properly but I was drinking lots of fluids and the nurses were helping me to shower and go to the toilet. They also took the time to facetime my husband, mum, dad and brother and it really kept me going.”

Once Mona’s oxygen levels had started to go up and the pneumonia had settled, she was transferred to a ward closer to her son.

“They showed me photos of Adbul and gave me updates of his progress in the Neonatal Unit until they were actually able to bring him to me on the 17th February, which was the first time that I’d had seen him in person. After that I started to look forward to seeing my son and getting better and although I was still weak, I knew I needed to get on with it so that I could be with him.”

“I asked the surgeon what had happened and he said it was a combination of the pneumonia and the cough from COVID that had attacked my system. Because I was already dehydrated, everything came at once and my body just collapsed.”

Mona was given physiotherapy to help her walk again and was eventually discharged from hospital at the end of February. Abdul remained on high flow oxygen in the Neonatal Unit until he was healthy enough to come home at the end of March.