Beadnell – Mother and Baby Unit, NTW NHS Foundation Trust – (ARCHIVED)

Our model of care is specific to this Mother and Baby Unit and reflects the comprehensive delivery of care that has been practised since the unit opened. The principles behind it are those of individualised, patient-centred care, and reflect research into effective inpatient care of postnatally ill women and their young babies.


  • From start: No
  • During process: Yes
  • In evaluation: No


  • Peer: Yes
  • Academic: No
  • PP Collaborative: Yes

Find out more




What We Did

Our model of care is specific to this Mother and Baby Unit and reflects the comprehensive delivery of care that has been practised since the unit opened. The principles behind it are those of individualised, patient-centred care, and reflect research into effective inpatient care of postnatally ill women and their young babies.

The Primary Nurse works with the mother to complete a full assessment – incorporating mental health, physical needs, social issues and the mother/baby relationship. If appropriate, family members and other professionals will be involved in the gathering of information to complete an assessment.

An agreed plan of care is then devised – it has clear aims and identifies strategies to achieve those aims. The plan of care should enable a mother to work through a difficult period of her life with support, and enable her to develop coping strategies.

The Nursery Nurse, in conjunction with the mother, will complete the baby’s assessment and a plan of care will be devised. The mother’s and the baby’s care plans will each reflect the other’s needs.

The Primary Nurse works within a Multi-Disciplinary Team – The Primary Nurse will coordinate the package of care and ensure communication between all those involved is maintained.

The need to support other members of the family should be identified in the plan of care, so enabling a common approach – their level of involvement will be determined by the wishes of the mother and the capacity of the family member to provide support.

The Primary Nurse will ensure their team of staff is aware of the plan of care in detail, having discussed the reasons for the particular nursing approach decided upon. The rest of the unit staff will also have awareness of the plan of care. This should ensure continuity of individualised care.

The Primary Nurse will ensure the package of care is regularly evaluated with the mother and will clearly identify change or lack of change in the mother’s situation. Changes to the plan of care will therefore be made as required.

We are the only Mother and Baby unit in the Country that allow partners to stay as we believe the assessment is around the family – ie Dad/partner will be providing night cares – and an assessment is done on this basis – Any support we feel the family need, we offer. We also promote the Mothers on the ward to invite family in so they can cook for them – and enjoy some family time on the ward.

Transition from hospital to home – Is worked at a steady pace pertinent to the needs of the Mother – We may start with escorted day leave home – and the nurse providing this escort would assess the home environment, the cares provided and family input whilst on leave – If the team agree this may progress to day leave being left alone for a few hours then further to a full day – If all is going well we would suggest an overnight leave – then eventually this builds up to a weeks leave – after which as long as adequate plans are in place with community professionals the Mother can be discharged.

We feel we provide an excellent service for our Mothers, babies and their families, We take great pride in our work – A lot of our families come back to visit when their babies are grown up – This we find very fulfilling – We always go the extra mile – An example of this would be when we had a refugee lady on the unit who was living in a cold and damp flat in Newcastle – The staff took her home on leave – it was in December so it was nearly Christmas. When they returned for their next leave they were armed with cleaning equipment and her flat was transformed they also took a Christmas tree and decorations – contacted the local Mind Charity shop to get some items they could wrap up for presents for her and her children. The staff have never forgotten her reaction to this.

Allison Speirs – Ward Manager

Wider Active Support

We work collaboratively with a Perinatal Community team so we are able to provide a seamless transition from inpatient to home support – We are part of the RPSYCH and have been accreditated for our work.



We meet with Service users every week – their families are invited to this and we take advice from them about their future ambitions.

An example of this would be when we start leave from the ward we ask the service user what would be best for them and the family are asked of their opinions too – The family is centre to all the care we provide.


Looking Back/Challenges Faced

A challenge would be that when I first came to this service – A lot of money was spent on taxis with home leaves etc we now have a lease car which is providing flexibility with times and distances – also staff are able to spend more time with the families to and from hospital – It has also provided a reduction in costs for travelling – I would have requested a lease car a lot sooner.



We have structures and policies in place so that we provide the good quality service no matter. We are supporting the Trusts initative around Talk First – Positive and safe practice – We have a board up on the wall with all the staff photos and personal information such as favourite foods, music and a favourite saying – We try to humanise staff and work together with service users as much as we can.



Evaluation (Peer or Academic)

Rcpsych – We are accredited by this organisation and we have a peer review every year – We also review other Mother and baby units in the country so we share good practices.

We also are reviewed by CQC and the Trust was given an Outstanding award.



We Work really hard to keep the staff team happy this is reflected in the sickness rates – these have reduced over the last few years. This is due to us learning to give the staff – all of the staff the opportunity to be involved in any decision making. This is for patient care – environment and staff related issues.



We share everything we do with all the other Mother and baby units throughout the country – Peer reviews and conferences are attended – We all take advice from each other. At our last Accreditation review a manager from another Mother and Baby Unit described us as the jewell in the crown of Mother and baby units.


Is there any other information you would like to add?

We are a small team and we all work exceptionally hard to keep up the good standards of care. We have a really good relationship with a local Mind Charity shop we raise money for them baking with the mothers on the ward and selling them – and they provide lots of clothing, games, toiletries and such like for the Mothers on the ward.

I think we are a very Happy team – Happy teams make Happy families in our care.

Everyone that comes onto our unit are pleasantly surprised by its homeliness and atmosphere.



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