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Membership Matters

Baby Loss Awareness Week highlights support for expectant mums

Mums-to-be across the region are to benefit from a pioneering initiative that has already helped hundreds of women track the progress of their pregnancy and improve their wellbeing. 

Baby Loss Awareness Week (9-15 October) highlights the national concern that 15 babies are either stillborn or die shortly after birth every day in the UK (5,600 a year). The UK has one of the highest stillbirth rates in the developed world, with the majority potentially preventable as they occur so close to term. In 2015 the government announced its ambition to reduce stillbirths by 20 percent by 2020, and 50 percent by 2030.

To compliment the government’s stillbirth strategy, wellbeing wallets are being provided by the maternity departments at York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.  The MAMA wellbeing wallet was designed for women to carry their antenatal notes and to use as an aid to support pregnant women to detect signs of potential problems with their pregnancy.

Michala Little, community midwifery and antenatal day services manager at the Trust, said: “The wellbeing wallets were provided by MAMA Academy, and piloted by our Trust last year and we have been lucky enough to be offered a year’s supply.

This amazing donation of MAMA Academy wallets will provide expectant mums with really useful pregnancy information. The wallets protect pregnancy notes, scan photos and leaflets and are full of colourful, easy to understand key health information that supports them right through their pregnancy.”

Heidi Eldridge, CEO of MAMA Academy, said: “We are thrilled to see the huge impact our wellbeing wallets have had on reducing baby loss throughout the UK over the past couple of years and are thrilled that the Trust is working with us to help save more babies lives.

“We are overwhelmed by the generosity of Our Angels, a Harrogate based charity set up to support families through the loss of a baby, for funding them. This will empower more parents with safer pregnancy information to give their babies the best chance of arriving safely.”

Michala added: “Not only do the wallets educate expectant mums, they help us midwives to discuss concerns with our patients. Because the information from the wallet is fresh in their minds it is the ideal time to discuss certain topics such as giving up smoking, signs of pre-eclampsia and how to monitor babies’ movements. These are some of the factors that can have a considerable effect on pregnancy outcomes.”

Chris Binnie, Trustee at Our Angels said: “We’re delighted to be working in partnership with our friends at MAMA Academy to bring these fantastic lifesaving wallets to mums-to-be in York and across North Yorkshire.

“At Our Angels we absolutely recognise the vital need for better standards of bereavement care and support, but alongside that it’s enormously important to us that we can help hospitals in our region to be proactive in saving babies’ lives as well as supporting families through their darkest hours.”

The wellbeing wallets are available to all expectant mothers visiting the maternity departments at York and Scarborough hospitals.




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Visiting cancelled

Due to the increasing number of cases of coronavirus across the UK, York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has made the decision to cancel all visiting to all its hospital sites in order to ensure the safety of patients and staff.

There are three exemptions to the ruling which are for one parent of a sick child under 18, for the partner of a woman giving birth and end of life patients at the discretion of the ward sister.

We would ask people to respect this decision and to treat our staff, who will be enforcing the visiting restrictions, with courtesy and respect.  For more information visit our website.

Outpatient appointments

We know that NHS services will come under intense pressure as the coronavirus spreads, and as a Trust we need to redirect staff, free up staff for refresher training and carry out any works as necessary, so we are able to maximise capacity for patients for when the number of infections peak.  We also need to reduce the number of people coming into our hospitals to protect our patients, as well as keeping our staff safe, well and able to come into work.

To do this, with effect from Tuesday 24 March 2020, along with other trusts in the Humber Coast and Vale partnerships, we have made the collective decision to suspend all non-urgent routine outpatient appointments for at least three months.  Urgent and emergency cases and cancer appointments will be carrying on as normal.

These are unprecedented times and we thank you for your understanding.  We know many people waiting for treatment will be disappointed or worried but please not contact the hospital as we will be contacting everyone directly affected in the coming days and weeks.

If you do not receive a letter or a phone call from the hospital, please turn up for your scheduled appointment as normal unless you have symptoms of coronavirus, a cold, flu or norovirus in which case you should contact us to cancel your appointment by clicking here.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

If you have symptoms associated with coronavirus including a new continuous cough and a high temperature, you are advised to stay at home for 7 days.

Please do not book a GP appointment or attend your GP practice.

If you live with other people, they should stay at home for at least 14 days, to avoid spreading the infection outside the home.  After 14 days, anyone you live with who does not have symptoms can return to their normal routine.

But, if anyone in your home gets symptoms, they should stay at home for 7 days from the day their symptoms start. Even if it means they're at home for longer than 14 days. The most up-to-date public guidance is always online at

If your symptoms are serious, or get worse, NHS 111 has an online coronavirus service that can tell you if you need further medical help and advise you what to do.  Only call 111 direct if you are advised to do so by the online service or you cannot go online.