One to One Midwives are a free service to all NHS patients and deliver an enhanced, safe and supportive maternity service in the heart of local communities. When a woman first accesses One to One she is allocated a named midwife who will be the lead caregiver throughout her pregnancy, birth (if she chooses a homebirth) and for 6 weeks of postnatal care. The One to One midwife will be available over 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and when she is on holiday her ‘buddy’ will be available instead. Care takes place in the women’s homes at times to suit their needs and the vast majority of visits take place in the evening or at weekends to ensure that partners are also active participants in the care. There are no limits to the number of visits and the woman and midwife will agree how often the visits should take place to meet the individual needs of the family. One to One Midwives also work as part of the existing local maternity services so if women need to see an obstetrician or a doctor their One to One midwife will make all the necessary arrangements to ensure that care is safe and that women can have obstetric appointments with a local hospital of their choosing. The service has a real impact on areas of deprivation and on women who are considered vulnerable.
Joanne Parkington, a midwife, set up One to One because she was disillusioned with how midwives were expected to work within the NHS system. It did not meet her ethos and philosophy of midwifery — that women should be cared for by a midwife that they know and trust at such a magical yet vulnerable time of their life. Joanne believes that true midwifery is a vocation, midwives are born and not created by an education system, she believes that you become a midwife in your heart before you become a midwife in your brain. One to One has provided midwives with the ability to practice the ‘art of midwifery’ as well as the science by building a model of care based on relationships.
One to One Midwives have been active since 2010 and have cared for over 10,000 women across Cheshire, Essex and Merseyside.
Quote from Joanne Parkington: “There are many people that inspire me – many are midwives who continue to work in a system that is not designed to support true midwifery care but they make a difference to women and their families every day. Women inspire me every day who birth in these environments and create a positive birthing memory that lasts a lifetime. Most of all, people who achieve great things against all odds, who keep getting back up when they are knocked down and who do not take “NO’ for an answer! The One to One team are in this category!”
One to One wish to become a choice provider to all women across the United Kingdom, and internationally, because we provide the care that women and their families want but also because we are working towards making birth safer. Women need to feel empowered to birth and trust in their ability to birth normally. We have to reclaim ‘normality’ – the UK is in danger of redefining complexity in pregnancy and birth as the new norm and we have to turn the tide and return the art of bringing birth back to women.