Improving our maternity services
We continue to work hard to make the necessary and sustainable improvements to our maternity services for our communities and also for our staff. Here are some examples/ a brief timeline of the work we have done so far. Please note - this is just a snapshot and is not an extensive list.
- A Maternity Transformation Board is established
- CQC inspection
- Work continues on updating and revising information such as guidelines and internal processes
- Invested in new IT equipment (laptops, PCs and phones) for staff working in the community and upgraded IT systems and processes
- Programme of work starts to improve outcomes for women and families who experience post-partum haemorrhage
- CQC inspection
- Invested in equipment and ongoing enhanced training to monitor a baby’s heartbeat (fetal monitoring) - this is in additional to welcoming staff focussing on fetal monitoring
- An app called Birthrate+ was rolled out on our postnatal wards to support safe staffing
- Revised serious incident process so that Rapid Reviews on all incidents which are classed as moderate and above, take place within 24 hours
- Digital Programme Board established to look at how we can address some of the immediate digital issues we had in the service
- New jaundice pathway rolled out in the community
- New induction of labour lounge and triage area opens
- Maternity Advice Line launched so our communities can speak to a dedicated midwife about any concerns before or after birth. The phone number is free to call and open 24/7
- Increased consultant cover across our hospitals, to ensure we have more doctors available.
- Invested in and rolled out equipment to measure jaundice in babies
- New care plan launched for babies who have low blood sugar levels
- Invested in and rolled out more than 50 new machines to trace babies heartbeats (CTG machines)
- CQC inspection
- Nottingham and Nottingham Local Maternity and Neo-natal System (LMNS) awarded £1.7 million in funding to support the digital improvements at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust
- Created Maternity Apprenticeship roles to enhance the skills of our staff
- We separated our Triage and Day Assessment Unit areas. This means that people who need emergency and routine care will be seen in separate areas
- Opened a Rainbow Clinic to support those who have lost a baby
- Introduced Birmingham Symptom- specific Obstetric Triage System (BSOTS) in our triage service. This is a system similar to the one used in A&E where people are prioritised based on how urgent their medical needs are
- Independent Maternity Review starts, led by Donna Ockenden
- We expanded our team to support people with feeding their baby, this saw us welcome five support workers to work alongside our Infant Feeding Lead across the QMC and City Hospital
- Launched BadgerNet - an online system which makes it easier to share and access information
- Welcomed nurses onto areas such as the postnatal areas to help support people’s recovery after labour.
December 2022/January 2023
- Four key areas of improvements to focus on until March 2023 identified:
- Governance: This includes addressing the backlog of serious incidents
- Postnatal care: How we can make our discharge processes much smoother and quicker and focussing on care
Communications and Engagement: How we can continue to improve our communications and engagement with our communities and staff
- BadgerNet: Continuing to develop the system.
- Signed Memorandum of Understanding with Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Hospital
- International recruitment continues
- New Heads of Midwifery join the service
- We are offering our registered nurses the opportunity to undertake a Master's Degree to convert to midwifery training. We have 10 people starting that course
*Continued focus on recruitment and retention, including recruiting internationally for roles including midwives, doctors and support roles.
Coming up - This page is being regularly updated
- We have received additional funding to invest in our bereavement care
- We have received additional funding to support our student midwives
- A business case has been submitted to ensure we can meet the future demand for people wanting a planned C-Section
Improving our maternity services
We have been working hard to make improvements across our maternity services. With the help of your feedback, support from colleagues across healthcare, local councillors and MPs, and of course the dedication of our staff, we have made a number of improvements.
At the start of March 2022 we welcomed inspectors from our regulators – the Care Quality Commission (CQC) – back into our services, and they published their report which can be read here. They have noted a number of these improvements, however, they also picked up on areas of concern.
We realise this may be hard for you to see if you are planning to have your baby in our care, and it is certainly disappointing for our staff. We know that real improvement takes time. We are committed to improving the pace at which we make the changes needed, while ensuring that any improvements are sustainable.
One of the biggest challenges we face is staffing. Like our neighbouring hospitals, the national shortage of midwives is having a particular impact. We want to reassure you that we are making every effort to recruit as many midwives, doctors and support staff to our team as we can.
However, your safety and our ability to provide high quality care are our top priorities so we cannot wait for additional staff before we make changes. So, we are also thinking about how we do things differently to keep you and your families as safe as possible in our care. For example, you may see nurses in our postnatal areas to help support your recovery after labour. We are offering apprenticeships to our maternity support workers, to enhance the skills they hold to help care for our families, and we may reduce the capacity of our wards to ensure those in our care have the support they need.
Another big change, which we’ve made since the CQC inspection, was to separate our day assessment and triage areas in our hospital. We’re pleased to say that now when you come into our hospitals because of a concern you will not be seen alongside those with routine appointments.
Inspectors rated our caring as ‘good’ and they told us that we also provide good treatment. They highlighted improvements in our management of safety incidents, and said we were focused on the needs of women and families receiving care.
They also highlighted some areas they deemed to be outstanding, saying our specialist midwives went above and beyond for the women they cared for, and some of our scenario training to learn from incidents was also outstanding.
Keeping patients safe and providing high quality care are our top priorities, and we are increasing the pace with which we address the concerns in this report.
We are proud of our teams for the improvements they have put in place, but we realise we have more to do and we are committed to continuing to work with local families and healthcare partners to make the changes required.
You can read the full report on the Care Quality Commission website
If you have any concerns or questions please speak to your midwife.
Sharon Wallis, Director of Midwifery.