Pennine Acute Trust midwives work on SaBiNE Saving Babies’ Lives initiative

Pennine Acute Trust midwives work on SaBiNE Saving Babies’ Lives initiative
30 September 2015

TWO midwives at The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust are helping to drive forward the SaBiNE Saving Babies Lives in the North of England initiative.

The Trust is working with the Perinatal Institute on the SaBINE national quality programme to seek to help improve the detection and management of babies who are smaller than would normally be expected, and to reduce stillbirth rates and early neonatal death across the region.

Midwives Debbie Whittaker from The Royal Oldham Hospital and Alexandra Hawkins-Drew from North Manchester General Hospital maternity units are now fully engrossed in the programme which sees them ensuring that all midwives and doctors complete a training package which demonstrates current up to date practice.

The two experienced midwives are also auditing all births from June to August and generating a birth centile chart which will enable data to be collected for babies which are small gestational age.

Debbie (pictured in uniform) said: “As a midwife I feel extremely passionate about improving care pathways for women, potentially at risk of small gestational age and stillbirth. If only one baby can be saved, I consider this a positive outcome.”

Cathy Trinick, Divisional Director of Midwifery at Pennine Acute Trust, said:

“Our midwives and obstetricians are keen to embrace the Safer Care Bundle to ensure we provide a safe and quality service to our mothers and babies and to ultimately improve the outcome by providing better antenatal detection of babies at risk. A crucial element of the SaBiNE work is communication – between colleagues and between health professional and pregnant mother. This builds trusting relationships, helps us to detect suspicious signs early and ensures that pregnant women know what to look out for and that they will be listened to when they tell their midwife.

“Our efforts are already beginning to show an impact and this is best demonstrated in the following words from a mother and her family regarding the timely identification of a baby who was vulnerable due to its slow growth, by the mother discussing a change in baby’s movements with her midwife:…………. “This card cannot thank you enough, although you were only doing your job, you listened and didn’t ignore what I was saying. We can’t thank you enough, because we know, without you making me stand my ground with the hospital, Lily would not be here now, and we know that because of her movements. We thank you so much, our little surprise is perfect.”

Professor Jason Gardosi from the Perinatal Institute said: “I am very pleased to be working with The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust.  Chief Nurse Gill Harris and her team have been instrumental in bringing SaBINE to the north of England.”

In 2013/14 the Trust delivered 9,899 babies across its two purpose-built women & children’s facilities at North Manchester General Hospital and The Royal Oldham Hospital.


The Royal Oldham Hospital's maternity unit, children's unit and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) fully opened in December 2012. The £44m facility is a purpose-built four storey building with antenatal wards, labour delivery rooms, a midwife-led birth centre, obstetric theatres, children's unit and paediatric theatre, and a Level 3 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. The Royal Oldham Hospital is one of three specialist regional neonatal centres providing the highest level of intensive care to the smallest and most vulnerable babies. The NICU consists of 37 cots with 9 intensive care, 9 high dependency and 19 special care cots.

The maternity unit at North Manchester General Hospital opened in 2010.  The £32m facility provides a full range of high quality services to women, children and babies including: a children’s day surgery unit, Kids’ Observation and Assessment Liaison Area (KOALA), children’s inpatient unit, antenatal ward, postnatal ward, delivery suite/labour ward and operating theatres, Neonatal Unit/ Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) and midwife-led birth centre.