Vulnerable pregnant women often find that their physician, midwife and health visitor have not briefed each other. Collaboration agreements between general practitioners, the region and the municipality early on in the process work, and we need more of these.
This is the conclusion of a new evaluation by the Capital Region of Denmark of initiatives for pregnant women.
A new evaluation of initiatives for vulnerable pregnant women shows that information about pregnant women or new mothers is not exchanged adequately between their general practitioner, midwife and health visitor.
This causes uncertainty regarding who is responsible for what, and mothers and healthcare staff become insecure about the situation. As a result, the evaluation concludes that cooperation between general practice, the region and the municipality should be strengthened by establishing collaboration agreements so that everyone knows who should do what, and so that everyone has a full overview of the process for a vulnerable pregnant woman or a new parent.
“A pregnant woman or new mother shouldn’t have to keep track of who does what, or find out where they can go for help and support. Parents and children who need help and care deserve proper care, and therefore we need to strengthen collaboration,” said Sophie Hæstorp (Danish Social Democrats).
Specialists lack knowledge about the services available
The evaluation is a result of the health services agreement for the Capital Region of Denmark and the municipalities, and it is based on interviews with general practitioners, midwives and health visitors, as well as women who have needed help.
The specialists say that they rarely know about the specific support services available in the other sectors. They also find it difficult to navigate between services from different municipal administrations.
Moreover, communication between the general practitioner, midwife and health visitor is weak and often takes place over the phone. The consequence of this is that the individual health specialist does not always have all the information about a pregnant woman or new parent, and this makes their work more difficult.
Collaboration agreement on rapid communication works
According to the evaluation, positive results are achieved when agreements are set up early on between the regional hospital, the GP and the municipal health visitor, under which the midwife notifies the others as soon as it is clear that an expectant parent and her family need additional support.
“Collaboration agreements for particularly vulnerable pregnant women work, and so a pilot project has also been launched to expand the agreement concept to cover all pregnant women at Hvidovre Hospital."
"Sometimes there may be challenges in connection with a birth, while in other cases there may be challenges associated with the upheaval of becoming a parent.
In all cases, the most important thing for the families is that they feel that there is a natural and secure transition from place of birth to healthcare," said Marika Jensen, Head of Healthcare and Speech-Hearing Consultants in Glostrup Municipality and member of the Maternity Services Plan Committee in the Capital Region of Denmark
The evaluation also points out that a joint consultation with a midwife and health visitor, at which a vulnerable pregnant woman meets her health visitor during pregnancy, creates an overview and gives peace of mind. A pregnant woman feels more secure once they know who will be taking over after the birth.
- Sophie Hæstorp Andersen (Social Democrats), Chairman of the Regional Council: Via the press office of the Capital Region of Denmark on +45 70209588 / firstname.lastname@example.org
- Marika Jensen, Head of Healthcare and Speech-Hearing Consultants in Glostrup Municipality and member of the Maternity Services Plan Committee in the Capital Region of Denmark: +45 29 40 58 99 / Marika.Jensen@glostrup.dk