What is continuity of carer?
Broadly speaking, continuity of carer means providing a consistency of midwife or clinical team throughout a woman's pregnancy journey.
This means providing high quality care to a woman and then her baby or babies through the pregnancy, labour and postnatal periods.
The midwife and clinical team will also co-ordinate a woman’s care, ensuring she has everything she needs, when she needs it and develops a relationship with the woman over her pregnancy journey.
Evidence shows that continuity of carer improve safety and outcomes for women. Women who had midwife led continuity of care were:
- Seven times more likely to be attended at birth by a known midwife
- 16% less likely to lose their baby and 19% less likely to lose their baby before 24 weeks
- 24% less likely to experience pre-term birth
- 15% less likely to have regional analgesia
- 16% less likely to have an episiotomy
Putting into place a culture of continuity of carer is therefore crucial in making sure we can reduce rates of stillbirth, neonatal death and maternal deaths.