ASPIRE-COVID-19: Achieving Safe and Personalised maternity care In Response to Epidemics

Lead Research Organisation: University of Central Lancashire
Department Name: Sch of Comm Health & Midwifery

Abstract

UK policy is for safe, personalised maternity care. However, during COVID-19 tests and visits have been reduced in some places, and some women with worrying symptoms are not going to hospital. Other places are trying new solutions, including remote access technologies. Some Trusts have reduced community maternity services, including home and birthcentre births; barred birth companions in early labour; and separated mothers, babies, and partners during labour, and in neonatal units. There are reports of women giving birth at home without professional help, possibly due to fear of infection, or of family separation. In contrast, the Netherlands has a policy of increased community maternity services during COVID-19. We want to find out how best to provide care for mothers, babies, and partners during and after a pandemic. We will look at what documents and national leads say about service organisation in the UK and the Netherlands, and at women's and parents experiences. We will also look in detail at what happened in 8 UK Trusts during the pandemic. We will find out how their services have been organised during COVID-19, what parents and staff think, and what the outcomes are, including infections. We will then share the findings with key stakeholders to agree a final organisational model that can be used to ensure safe, personalised routine and crisis maternity care, now, and in future. This will include useful resources and links relating to innovative best practices that we find out about during the study.

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