Placenta Clinic shortlisted for healthcare innovation award
Posted by: davep at 18:20, January 22 2018.

What better way to start the year than with an award nomination? The East Lancashire Hospitals trust Placenta Clinic based at Lancashire Women and Newborn Centre has been shortlisted for an iNetwork Healthcare Innovation Award. The team made the final four in the Healthcare category for their exceptional work in detecting growth restrictions during pregnancy.

The clinic which was set up by Martin Maher, Consultant Obstetrician, aims to reduce stillbirths by diagnosing growth restrictions which can be caused by problems with the placenta.

Conventionally women would stop receiving scans at 36 weeks which meant that many small babies were left undiagnosed. However, problems with the placenta can occur at any point during pregnancy and so women at risk are monitored closely. Careful surveillance helps consultants and midwives time a small baby’s delivery perfectly so that when they enter the world they are given the best opportunity to grow to be healthy happy babies.

“For every day Baby is in the womb, the chance of survival increases by 2% so timing and balance is really crucial here” said Martin. “Previously women would have had to travel to Manchester and some would even face the devastating reality of losing their little one.”

A recent audit has shown that stillbirth rate at the Trust is at its lowest level for years, seeing a 20% decrease since the clinic commenced and a huge reduction in the number of babies born with undiagnosed growth problems. Results from the eight- month audit have also revealed that the detection rate for foetal growth restriction has gone from approximately 50% to 98%.

East Lancashire Hospitals is currently one of only two Trusts in the North West to offer this service to high risk mothers. The clinic sees around 100 women a month, performing around 1200 scans a year and this number is increasing. The clinic has received funding for two midwives to train to perform scans which will detect women with placenta problems. One of these midwives sonographers is already in post.

The ceremony for the iNetwork awards will take place on 30 January. The Trust wishes Martin and his team the very best of luck and hope they can scoop the well-deserved accolade.