This guideline offers best practice advice on the care of pregnant women with complex social factors.
Women should always be treated with kindness, respect and dignity. The views, beliefs and values of the woman in relation to her care and that of her baby should be sought and respected at all times.
Women should have the opportunity to make informed decisions about their care and treatment, in partnership with their healthcare professionals. If women do not have the capacity to make decisions, healthcare professionals should do not have the capacity to make decisions, healthcare professionals should follow the Department of Health's advice on consent and the code of practice that accompanies the Mental Capacity Act. In Wales, healthcare professionals should follow advice on consent from the Welsh Government.
If the woman is under 16, healthcare professionals should follow the guidelines in the Department of Health's 'Seeking consent: working with children'.
Good communication between healthcare professionals and women is essential. It should be supported by evidence-based, written information tailored to the woman's needs. Treatment and care, and the information women are given about it, should be culturally appropriate. It should also be accessible to women with additional needs such as physical, sensory or learning disabilities, and to women who do not speak or read English.
If the woman agrees, partners and relevant family members should have the opportunity to be involved in decisions about treatment and care.
Partners and relevant family members should also be given the information and support they need.