Handover of care and of information by community midwives, maternity care assistants and Preventive Child Healthcare professionals, a qualitative study

van Minde, M. R. C., van Veen-Belle, D. W., Ernst-Smelt, H. E., Rosman, A. N., Raat, H., Steegers, E. A. P. & de Kroon, M. L. A., Nov-2019, In : Midwifery. 78, p. 25-31 7 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

  • Minke R. C. van Minde
  • Danielle W. van Veen-Belle
  • Hiske E. Ernst-Smelt
  • Ageeth N. Rosman
  • Hein Raat
  • Eric A. P. Steegers
  • Marlou L. A. de Kroon

Introduction: Handover of care has been internationally acknowledged as an important aspect in patient safety. Families who are vulnerable due to low socio-economic status, a language barrier or poor health skills, benefit especially from a decent handover of care from one healthcare professional to another. The handover from primary midwifery care and maternity care to Preventive Child Healthcare (PCHC) is not always successful, especially not in case of vulnerable families.

Aim: Obtaining insight in and providing recommendations for the proces of handover of information by primary midwifery care, maternity care and PCHC in the Netherlands.

Methods: A qualitative research through semi-structured interviews was conducted. Community midwives, maternity care nurses and PCHC nurses from three municipalities in the Netherlands were invited for interviews with two researchers. The interviews took place from February to April 2017. The qualitative data was analyzed using NVivo11 software (QSR International).

Results: A total of 18 interviews took place in three different municipalities with representatives of the three professions involved with the handover of care and of information concerning antenatal, postnatal and child healthcare: six community midwives, six maternity care assistants and six PCHC nurses. All those interviewed emphasized the importance of good information transfer in order to provide optimum care, especially when problems within the family ar present. In order to improve care, a large number of healthcare professionals prefered a fully digitized handover of information, providing the privacy of the client is warrented and the system works efficiently. To provide high quality care, it is considered desirable that healthcare workers get to know each other and more peer agreements are prepared. The 'obstetric collaborative network' or another structured meeting was considered most suitable for this exchange.

Conclusion: This study shows that the handover of care and of information between professionals in the fields of antenatal, postnatal and child healthcare is gaining awareness, but a more rigorous chain of care and collaboration between these disciplines is desired. Digitizing seems important to improve the handover of information. (C) 2019 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-31
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - Nov-2019


  • Handover of care, Handover of information, Primary midwifery care, Maternity care, Preventive Child Healthcare, Vulnerable families

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