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A better start for Bradford?

02 March 2017
Volume 25 · Issue 3


Bradford was one of five areas across the UK successful in a bid for funding from the Big Lottery Fund's A Better Start initiative.

The £49 million funding that Bradford won is being used to further develop 22 projects to improve the social and emotional development, communication and language development, and health and nutrition of children aged 0–3 years. One of these projects is a 3-year pilot of a personalised midwifery care team. Using a ‘buddy’ system, the midwifery team aims for the named midwife or buddy to provide 90% of all antenatal and postnatal midwifery care. Each midwife has a maximum caseload of 60 women and is, therefore, able to offer an enhanced care package, individualised to each woman's needs. The pilot began in October 2015 and the learning from this model of care is being fed into the local discussions about the National Maternity Review.

Despite the wide and longstanding recognition that continuity of carer reduces com plications in the childbirth continuum, in addition to increasing women's and midwives' satisfaction (Department of Health, 1993; National Insititute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), 2016; Sandall et al, 2016a; 2016b), few women in the UK receive this gold standard of care.

The city of Bradford, in the north of England, has a population of over 500 000 (Office for National Statistics, 2012) and has some of the worst levels of social deprivation in the UK (Bradford Observatory, 2016). In 2014, Bradford was one of five areas in the UK to make a successful bid for A Better Start funding from the Big Lottery Fund. The £49 million, awarded over a period of 10 years, is being used to work with families to help them give children aged 0–3 living in three of the most socially deprived wards of Bradford the best possible start in life. The Better Start programme aims to improve:

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