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Can continuity work for us?.London: RCM; 2017

Continuing the conversation

02 May 2019
Volume 27 · Issue 5


Continuity of carer has been a long-standing ambition in midwifery, so why does it remain the dominant conversation? Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent explains

I was recently asked by a colleague why continuity of carer had become the topic of conversation for many people working in maternity or associated with the implementation of healthcare policy. Tempted to respond immediately with enthusiasm about the benefits of continuity of carer, I responded by asking what he thought. His response was unsurprising, candid and accurate:

‘Because it's a recommendation of Better Births (National Maternity Review, 2016), and some maternity providers are finding it difficult to implement, while others seem to be getting on with it.’

Questions like these are not unusual. I am frequently asked about all things ‘continuity’ and in particular, national ambition for most women to have the same midwife caring for them throughout the antenatal, intrapartum and postnatal period, by 2021 (National Maternity Review, 2016). The depth of my response varies. In a busy clinical area, I am required to be brief, but here I can share some of the work that aims to support implementation of this important recommendation.

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