Targeted support

What do we want to happen:

“We will ensure that those families who need it, receive targeted support during their pregnancy and after the baby is born.”

What have we done so far?

We have developed a new way of working with women who have learning difficulties to improve the support they receive.

Midwives and other professionals are attending training to help them work more effectively with families who have learning difficulties.

At your first appointment the midwife will ask about how you would like to get information. Easy-read guides are available to help give you the information in a more helpful way if you have learning difficulties.

We will keep checking with you to make sure you are finding the information helpful so we can do something about it if you aren’t.

We have started to work with young parents and professionals to understand what we need to do differently to better support young parents.

What are we doing next?

We will use comments from families with learning difficulties to understand if there is anything else we need to do differently in the future.

We will work with young parents to improve support, improving the way we communicate with young parents and making sure that everyone knows which services are available to support young parents.

Cathy, diabetes midwife, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

As part of Leeds Maternity Strategy, a set of resources has been produced to support women with learning difficulties and disabilities through their pregnancy.

For Cathy, these have been invaluable in helping her prepare for and support patients, often with very complex needs. The resources include information on what to expect from maternity care, birth plans and screening the unborn baby for medical conditions, all in easy read formats.

The team use these as part of a streamlined approach which involves as much preparation as possible in advance of each woman’s first appointment, for example through team huddles to share information. Cathy says this strong and supportive team approach is crucial to make sure they can meet the woman’s individual needs and provide safe care.