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Maternity twins project delivering results

30 May 2018
Expectant parents waiting to hear the pitter-patter of not two, but four tiny feet will now get a package of care tailored especially to them.

Amanda Rowley, clinical ultrasound manager at The Rosie, said: “We were happy that our twin mums were getting a good service already, but working with Tamba has helped us to refine and develop the service we are offering.

Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CUH), supported by the Twins and Multiple Births Association (Tamba), has made changes to the service it offers mums at the Rosie Maternity Hospital.  

Parents of twins who are now benefiting from an improved service at the RosieThe trust has joined a ‘Maternity Engagement Project’ developed by Tamba and funded by the Department of Health, to further refine the care it offers the parents of multiple pregnancies. 

 Amanda Rowley, clinical ultrasound manager at The Rosie, said: “We were happy that our twin mums were getting a good service already, but working with Tamba has helped us to refine and develop the service we are offering.

“Tamba has enabled us to see what other units in the country are doing for their twin mums, which has helped us to reflect on what we are doing here in Cambridge.” 

All expectant twin mums at The Rosie Hospital within CUH  will have access to Tamba’s new Twin Pregnancy Growth Charts – a world first developed and launched in the UK with the help of Tamba supporters who raised £25,000 for research and development.

Previously hospitals plotted the growth of twins on charts designed for single birth babies and clinicians had to use their judgement to decide how they were progressing. 

Helen Turier, Tamba’s head of family & professional support, said: “We’re incredibly pleased that the team at Cambridge are not only using the growth charts, but have started to implement a number of recommendations that we made. 

“Engagement from this unit has been extremely high with positive relationships developed for the benefit of our families. Staff have embraced many of the resources our programme has to offer including free access to Tamba’s multiple-specific CPD (continuing professional development) resources, a multidisciplinary study day and a peer support unit exchange.”

The care of mums-to-be of twins at the Rosie is currently overseen by a senior antenatal clinic midwife experienced in multiple pregnancy care. However, as recommended by Tamba, the team is currently exploring the possibility of introducing a designated multiples midwife to further improve continuity of care and access to specialist knowledge and advice.  

Helen added: “The partnership between Tamba and Cambridge has been a big success with the needs of the multiple births pregnancy patients at the centre of the care provided, in line with the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidance.”

The Cambridge team has also worked to successfully overcome historic challenges in relation to equipment and resources within its sonography department – a common issue for many units. Staff implemented a “Fewer for Newer” initiative to replace ultrasound equipment with newer, higher specification machines and have ensured that effective processes are in place to make the most from  sharing this resource for the benefit of patients. 

Amanda said: “We had various machines in need of replacement or repair. We’ve  been able to replace five older machines with three new higher specification machines. These benefit the entire maternity department including our twin mums.”

Cambridge mums expecting twins are seen by a multi-disciplinary team of sonographers, obstetricians and midwives who have experience of multiple births.  In the newly-established ultrasound twin clinic senior sonographers are being paired with more junior members of the team to help more sonographers gain experience of performing ultrasound scans for twins.  

Trish Chudleigh, specialist sonographer for education and training, said there is a Trust “Grow Your Own” initiative with two training places being offered each year to address the shortage of sonographers. 

The Fewer for Newer and Grow Your Own initiatives implemented by CUH have been used by Tamba to inspire other units in the Maternity Engagement Project.