21 June 2012

Conference celebrates success in improving maternal and neonatal care

A major conference on maternal and neonatal health care at the University of York will celebrate success and illustrate how best practice can be turned into common practice.

The event on Wednesday, 27 June will showcase the work of a large-scale project by the Yorkshire and Humber Health Innovation and Education Cluster (HIEC) designed to improve mother and infant care and includes an awards ceremony for those involved.

The HIEC Maternal and Infant Health Care programme is focusing on improving care in neonatal and maternity units across the Yorkshire and Humber region. The work includes developing education resources to support infant feeding, implementing sustainable, evidence-based change in key aspects of care in neonatal units and during admission in labour, and improving care for mothers in prison.

As part of the conference, NHS Trusts and individuals from the 42 maternity and neonatal units in the region who have been working on the programme will receive awards in recognition of their success. These include prizes to the top two project champions from units across the region and an overall NHS Trust award for neonatal and maternity care.

Held at the National Science Learning Centre and the National STEM Centre at the University of York, the event features international and national speakers and will be attended by delegates ranging from hospital and primary care managers, to practitioners such as paediatricians, midwives, health visitors and obstetricians, as well as researchers working in this field and voluntary and community groups active in a range of areas.

The conference is co-hosted by the University of York’s Mother and Infant Research Unit, Department of Health Sciences; the Hull York Medical School; the Maternal and Infant Health and Care theme of the Yorkshire and the Humber Health Innovation and Education Cluster; and the national Public Health Observatory for Children and Maternity (ChiMat).

HYMS Clinical Research Fellow Professor Mary Renfrew, Co-Director of the Maternal and Infant Health and Care theme of the Yorkshire and Humber HIEC, and Director of the University of York’s Mother and Infant Research Unit, said: "The HIEC programme aims to create evidence-based sustainable change in both neonatal and maternity care, improving care for both mothers and infants. It also aims to tackle inequalities in health care through working with mothers in prison and vulnerable women in labour.

"The conference is an excellent opportunity to celebrate and discuss the work of all those involved in the project, including representatives from maternity and neonatal units, public health organisations, universities, and service user groups. Representatives from each of these groups will be attending the conference to discuss and demonstrate their work."