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National Collaborating Centre for Primary Care (UK). Postnatal Care: Routine Postnatal Care of Women and Their Babies [Internet]. London: Royal College of General Practitioners (UK); 2006 Jul. (NICE Clinical Guidelines, No. 37.)

Cover of Postnatal Care

Postnatal Care: Routine Postnatal Care of Women and Their Babies [Internet].

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Preface

The postnatal period marks the establishment of a new phase of family life for women and their partners and the beginning of the lifelong health record for newborn babies. As a practicing GP I know just how important this period is and the vital role of the primary health care team. But I also know that it is essential to define clear standards of health care for this area as there is uncertainty about best practice. So I welcome this document which places the woman and her infant at the centre of care. Patient centred care is a value espoused by the Royal College of General Practitioners. In our document, Valuing General Practice, we outlined the core values of British general practice.1 The guiding principles of practice identified by the College includes the concepts that health care must be a partnership with patients and involve a team approach in which professionals work in an integrated, co-ordinated manner. The Postnatal Care Guideline, developed by the National Collaborating Centre for Primary Care, based at the RCGP, reflects these precepts of contemporary general practice.

‘Core’ care for all women is defined with consideration for the context of care as well as the specific needs and preferences of the individual woman. In addition to providing clinical guidance about particular topics, the recommendations cover the importance of offering appropriate, responsive and timely information and of promoting health. Team working is a key feature of current general practice. The Postnatal Care Guideline recognizes the necessary flexibility of healthcare professionals’ roles in evolving health care systems and highlights the need for coordination of care throughout the postnatal period. Effective communication between health care professionals is therefore identified as a necessary element in the delivery of high quality and cost effective care.

I commend this guidance to health communities including commissioners and urge them to implement it. The guidelines will ensure that the primary care focus during the puerperium is maintained and that it meets the needs of women, their families and the community, and ensures the appropriate use of health care resources.

Professor Mayur Lakhani,

Chairman of Council, Royal College of General Practitioners,

London SW7 1PU

Copyright © 2006, National Collaborating Centre for Primary Care.
Bookshelf ID: NBK55915

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