Front (left to right), Rebecca Oliver, Jayne Denton, Adrienne Morton and Jessica Crombie.
Back (right to left), Claire Mawson, Sharron Wade,Claire Simpson and Rachel Ellis
The community maternity care assistants at County Durham and Darlington Foundation Trust have been working with community midwives in supporting and delivering the health promotion agenda since January 2013, when the trust launched its babyClear initiative with the aim of protecting unborn babies from the harm caused by smoking and reducing the number of women smoking during pregnancy. Nearly 20 per cent of pregnant women in County Durham and over 21 per cent in Darlington are smokers.
The community maternity care assistants received level 2 stop smoking training and offer targeted stop smoking support to pregnant women and their families. They have increased the capacity and flexibility of support available to pregnant women and become an integral part of the babyClear
initiative, bringing maternity services together with stop smoking services.
In a year the ten-strong team have helped increase the number of pregnant women engaging with stop smoking services in the county by 54 per cent. There has also been a 39 per cent increase in the number of pregnant women successfully quitting smoking at four weeks, rising from 147 in 2012/13 to 204 in 2013/14, and a 44 per cent quit rate has been maintained.
The service is not just targeted at individual pregnant women, it aims to support and improve the health of the whole family. This includes providing advice and guidance about secondhand smoke and smokefree homes, and stop smoking support for the partners or significant others of pregnant women. In 2013/14, support was provided for 75 significant others attempting to quit.
Judge Dr Bobak says: ‘They are doing an extremely valuable job.’