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Wednesday, 23 July 2014

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Unique Carlisle partnership scheme picks up new award

A unique partnership between midwives and firefighters has seen staff in Carlisle pick up their second award.

By working together, the two teams aim to help protect more families from the dangers of fire by ensuring new parents have fully functioning smoke alarms fitted.

It has proved so successful that Carlisle Fire Service and the city’s community midwifery team have now won an Excellence in Partnership Working award. This was presented at the Cumbria County Council Excellence Awards earlier this month.

The partnership had previously picked up a similar award last September.

The community midwife team from the North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust has been working alongside the fire service for over a year with the aim to protect new parents and babies from the risk of fire.

The partnership has seen ante-natal clinics being held in the community rooms at Carlisle fire station every Thursday. And, as fire statistics show that properties with small children are at a higher risk of injuries or deaths caused by fire, the arrival of a new baby is also being seen as an ideal chance to improve safety in the home.

The Carlisle maternity unit delivers approximately 1,800 babies per year and a community midwife is assigned to each expectant mother.

During the booking appointment, the midwife can refer parents for a free safety visit from the fire service.

The midwife can hand over forms and return them on behalf on the family.

It is hoped the initiative will eventually be rolled out across the whole county.

Meredith Jardine, maternity manager in north Cumbria, said: “Through our partnership working with the fire service, we are not only helping ladies through their pregnancy – we are also working towards helping them to keep safe after the birth.

“Families are particularly vulnerable at this time, as they are tired with the demands of a newborn baby. The overall aim of our partnership is to work to reduce the strain on families and to promote fire safety in the home.”

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