Somerset FT launch new team to support vulnerable women during pregnancy

Somerset NHS Foundation Trust (SFT) has launched a new specialist midwifery team across Somerset’s maternity services, which supports vulnerable women with additional needs during their pregnancy. 

Yeovil District’s Acorn Team, part of Yeovil District Hospital NHS FT, and Somerset’s Juniper Team have combined ranks to establish the Women Requiring Extra Nurturing service (also known as WREN). 

The team will support women struggling with substance or alcohol abuse, domestic violence, have learning needs and or are under the care of social services. 

Additionally, the team will help women and their families with a variety of issues such as finance housing and other health support, acting as a link to social services and perinatal mental health teams.  

Dawn Sherry, joint named midwife for safeguarding, Somerset NHS FT, and Yeovil District Hospital, said: “Our two teams at Yeovil and Musgrove Park hospitals have historically done a great job in helping to support and care for vulnerable women and families. 

“While the care from our midwives is outstanding, there were occasions when a woman’s care might have been transferred between our maternity units for the delivery of their baby – particularly those who live in areas mid-way between the two units, such as Chard or Ilminster. 

 “Many of these women are from particularly vulnerable families with unique needs, often distrusting of health professionals and difficult to engage with.” 

Paula John, WREN team leader, said of the new maternity service: “As a team of midwives, we feel passionately about offering non-judgemental, accessible, and supportive care to the most vulnerable families in Somerset. 

“Working together will enable us to be a stronger team and provide a service we can be proud of, and I believe we can consistently provide the high level of care these families need – which is what drives us all.” 

In other news, NICE has published a standards report setting out how health services can improve the diagnosis, assessment, and prevention of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder