Fetal medicine

What is the programme and its aims

Fetal medicine is the speciality that encompasses any extra care required for babies in the womb, such as for smaller babies or babies with other complications. All maternity services provide some fetal medicine care, with some services providing more specialised care for mothers and babies with particularly complex or highly specialised needs. In order to provide the best care closest to home within the East Midlands we are approaching the provision of fetal medicine via the development of a virtual operational delivery network, which includes all trusts, to provide a comprehensive service, with placental laser treatment being the only specialised care that is not delivered in the area.

Fetal medicine has been separated from standard maternity care provision, and is provided to differing levels within different services. Recognising the importance of provision of these services to pregnant women, trusts within the East Midlands have universally agreed to the ongoing provision of these services whilst participating in a network arrangement to allow local expertise and care close to home. In addition, a networked delivery approach will allow effective pathways into and out of specialist services and ensure sustainable local services which fulfil specialised services specifications and meet the criteria for dedicated funding.

In order to support and strengthen the fetal medicine group we have established a regular virtual multi-disciplinary team forum for discussion of complex case management and clinical support. This forum, which uses WebEx technology, enables good communication and discussion of care plans between clinicians, reducing the need to travel for women requiring fetal medicine input and supporting local clinical experience and expertise.

Who to contact for further information

Ailsa Burton – Quality Improvement Coordinator