18 April 2018

Better Births – Our first hub and a call for midwives

by Logan Van Lessen, Consultant Midwife, Public Health, Clinical Lead – Community Hubs for NCL

We have made some significant progress in aiming to set up community hubs to improve continuity of care for women and families. Here is an update on our progress so far.

Harmood Children’s Centre Hub (HCCH)

Plans are underway for the HCCH to be the first hub to be operational from April 2018. We have the commitment from UCLH, and Royal Free are doing their best, to ensure there are midwives at this hub from Monday to Friday. About 100 women who live within the NW1 and NW5 postcodes will be able to access midwifery care at HCCH during the pilot phase.

These women currently lack antenatal and postnatal continuity, with care being provided by both Trusts. By agreeing to work across geographical boundaries and postcodes, postnatal care for these women will be provided by the same team (a known midwife) who provides antenatal care. This will improve antenatal and postnatal continuity.

The intrapartum care will remain where the women choose to have their baby. In order to provide intrapartum continuity of care, additional midwives are required. This is currently not possible but something we are aiming for, either during the pilot phase of after.

The Early Year’s team in Camden have been enthusiastic about how we can work together to provide joint services to women and families in the hub, an example being infant feeding support and workshops. Further discussions will be held to move this forward.

An evaluation will be planned for this pilot with Middlesex University having expressed an interest in carrying out a research evaluation in partnership with our team. Overall we are really excited and looking forward to HCCH getting off the ground. Thank you to everyone who has worked so hard to make this happen.

Filming by NHS England

NHS England completed some filming at HCCH in early February to capture the progress being made so far with hubs. The final edited film will be made available by NHS England in April 2018.

Park Lane Children’s Centre Hub (PLCCH)

For a while we put plans for PLCCH on hold as there were many leadership role changes at North Middlesex and it did not seem the best time to bring in changes in initiating this hub. However we have been informed that North Middlesex remains very committed to the setting up of this hub. An operational team meeting from Whittington and North Middlesex was held to work out the details of setting this hub up.

As a reminder midwives from Whittington and North Middlesex are to provide antenatal, intrapartum and postnatal continuity of care and carer for about 100 vulnerable women living in the N17 area around Northumberland Park in Haringey.

Expressions of Interest

We are keen to hear from midwives who wish to work in a continuity model in a small team. This is a great opportunity for midwives who wish to develop their skills and broaden experiences, as well as pioneering Better Births. As it is a time limited position, it should be something to consider in the short term, and will look great on your CV. Contact information for your expression of interest is provided below.

Both pilots will be completed by the end of 2018. Midwives will be supported throughout the pilot by the project team with regular reviews, clinical supervision and with any ongoing issues to ensure both midwives and women feel secure.


If you need to discuss in detail on any of these proposals or interested in trying out the care continuity model, please contact Logan or project lead for NCL, Charlotte McClymont.

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