A DEDICATED hotline for women in labour in the South East of England has won a prestigious maternity care award.
The 24-hour Labour Line, the first of its kind in the country, was launched by South Central Ambulance Service and Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and allows pregnant women to call a midwife at any time of day or night, should they go into labour.
It is staffed around the clock by experienced and qualified midwives, and receives an average of 35 calls a day from across Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire and Oxfordshire.
Since its formation last year, the Labour Line has diverted 18,000 calls away from local labour wards and reduced unnecessary 999 calls.
Earlier this month, it won the Royal College of Midwives Excellence in Maternity Care Award at a national ceremony.
The head of emergency operations at the Labour Line base in Otterbourne, near Winchester, Tony Peters, said: “The Labour Line has been a great success and shows how close partnership between different parts of the NHS can create real benefits for both organisations, but more importantly, for patients too.
“It provides reassurance for the caller that they are speaking to an expert who knows exactly the right questions to ask and can advise on the most appropriate and safe response.
“It allows our emergency operations centre staff and frontline paramedics, to have more time to respond to other non-pregnancy related calls that come in.”