Published on: 7 May 2021

Parents-to-be across East Lancashire with pre-existing diabetes, or diabetes developed during pregnancy, are now benefitting from a new specialist community team run by East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust.

They will receive care from the Maple Team, which was launched in March 2021 following a Government paper called Better Births and suggested a small team of midwives and health care professionals develop and build more meaningful relationships with people during pregnancy.

The team is the second continuity of carer team introduced by the Trust, following the success of the Willow Team which includes eight colleagues caring for pregnant people in the BB1, BB1 2 and BB1 3 areas.

“The midwives working in the Maple Team have had extra training to develop and strengthen their knowledge in diabetes, and increase their skills to provide enhanced care for parents-to-be”, said Jessica Sandford, Continuity of Carer Project Lead Midwife.

“Across East Lancashire, there are approximately 400 pregnancies per year where diabetes is present or developed, and this is a very exciting time to enhance and individualise the care these people receive. I have worked closely with Sarah Carter, Lead Midwife for Diabetes, to develop the structure of this team and enable a supportive compassionate service for pregnant people with diabetes, available 24 hours a day.”

Sarah Carter, Lead Midwife for Diabetes at ELHT, has been in post for three years, providing care and support to women with all types of diabetes before, during and after pregnancy.

“I am very passionate about improving the midwifery care that those with diabetes receive in pregnancy, as diabetes affects 7-8% of the women who have their babies with us at ELHT. This is a significant number, and this is increasing every year.

“Due to the high risk nature of these pregnancies, some normality can be lost and this can impact on the overall experience for pregnant people at such an important time in their lives. The Maple Team are providing some much needed ‘normality’ and midwifery input, and I am very excited to be their Team Leader and take the team forward. We have a pivotal role in empowering our women during their pregnancies and feedback so far has been very positive.”