An innovative service for pregnant women with – or at risk of – diabetes is in the running for a prestigious national award.
Basildon’s General Ownership of Diabetes (GooD) team has been shortlisted in the women’s services category in the British Medical Journal awards.
The team launched the Good Pregnancy Network nearly seven years ago to offer better support to the rapidly increasing number of pregnant women with diabetes.
Senior specialty doctor Shaheen Mannan said: “A range of professionals from across the obstetrics and gynaecology department worked with colleagues in diabetes services and with patient representatives to develop this service. It has improved the patient experience and outcomes for many women and babies at no extra cost to the Trust. The service is geared around the needs of pregnant women – for example through more use of telephone clinics with midwives and expert input from nutritionists.”
Consultant obstetrician Amaju Ikomi paid tribute to all those involved in the service for embracing new ways of working and putting pregnant women and their babies first. He said that as well as improving outcomes – including through reducing caesarean section rates and the percentage of still births – the service aimed to foster long term healthy lifestyle changes. The percentage of ‘big babies’ – those above 9lb 14oz – also fell.
Amaju said: “We encourage women to bring along family members to the sessions around diet and healthy eating. We want to support them to maintain those healthy changes after the baby is born so that they are less likely to develop cardiovascular disease and other conditions linked to obesity.”
The team has previously achieved recognition through winning the Health Enterprise Innovation East award in 2017 and making the finals of the Health Service Journal awards a year later.
Consultant physician Dr Godwin Simon said: “Those earlier awards were about the innovation involved in the service but we have now proved that this model is a sustainable approach that meets the needs of women with diabetes, their babies and families. Success in the BMJ awards would be recognition that by working together a wide range of professionals have improved maternity services for a vulnerable group of women at no cost to the NHS.”