Starting Well is a preconception care project developed for Bevan Patients. Bevan patients experience iniquities in accessing health and wellbeing care and Starting Well was established by leading women’s health expert and Bevan GP to:
Empower women and their families to improve the outcome of future generations by optimising their physical psychological and social wellbeing prior to conception.
A guiding principal of Starting Well is pregnancy by choice, not by chance. Starting Well takes a MECC (Making Every Contact Count) approach and all people of childbearing age will be asked if they hope to become pregnant when they register with Bevan. Depending on their answer they will be directed to one of the resources below.
Why is starting well needed?
50% of pregnancies in the UK are estimated to be unplanned, missing the opportunity to optimise the health and wellbeing of the woman and her family prior to conception. Poor mental health is a common concern for the inclusion health patients cared for by Bevan Healthcare as many have experienced adverse experiences in early childhood or during transit to the UK.
The need to optimise mental wellbeing during pregnancy and for children in their early years is well researched and evaluated but focusing resource development and education for women prior to conception, while recognised as important, is not routinely practiced.
Who is starting well for?
Women of any reproductive age who are registered with Bevan initially. In particular new arrivals, refugees and asylum seekers, those in unstable accommodation, those experiencing substance misuse and sex workers.
What will Starting Well do?
This project recognises the need to develop bespoke resources and materials to personalise the care and support offered to empower women to choose if and when they are ready for a pregnancy. A MECC (Making Every Contact Count) approach to raising awareness of Starting Well will be used to support the learning of the multi-disciplinary team and voluntary and statutory staff working with Bevan patients.