The Welsh Ambulance Service has appointed its first lead midwife to improve care for women, birthing people and their babies.
Bethan Jones, a midwife at Cardiff’s University Hospital of Wales, has been appointed Local Safety Champion for Maternity and Neonatal Care to ensure women, birthing people and their babies receive safe and effective care. Bethan will work with other champions in local health boards to standardise services across Wales, as well as bolster training for staff. She will also explore and develop the opportunity for the ambulance service to host a 24/7 Labour Line.
Bethan, who was a bereavement counsellor prior to training as a midwife, said: “This is a really exciting opportunity to improve the quality of care we deliver to mothers, babies and their families. Women, birthing people and babies are at the heart of this work, which is designed to ensure that they and their families get the highest quality of care, wherever they are in Wales.”
Bethan’s secondment into the ambulance service is part of Welsh Government’s Maternity and Neonatal Safety Support Programme to improve the safety, experience and outcomes for mothers and babies in Wales. Maternity and neonatal champions have been appointed to every health board in Wales as part of a new team which reports to the Chief Nursing Officer for Wales, Sue Tranka. Champions will be supported initially by Improvement Cymru, the improvement service for NHS Wales, to scope and prioritise their focus.
Wendy Herbert is the Welsh Ambulance Service’s Assistant Director of Quality and Nursing. She said, “This is an important role for the Welsh Ambulance Service and I’m delighted we’ve been able to appoint someone as experienced as Bethan into the position. Our staff already do a brilliant job when it comes to supporting parents and looking after babies but we know that having to call 999 when you’re expecting a baby can be a daunting experience.
“The Local Safety Champion role will allow us to look closely at how our staff are trained and how we respond to maternity-related incidents, ultimately improving care for mothers, birthing people and babies across Wales.”