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Morecambe Bay midwives embrace video-link technology

Paula Brown, Midwife at Furness General Hospital and Mr Vincent Bamigboye, Obstetrics and Gynaecology Consultant at Furness General Hospital.
Paula Brown, Midwife at Furness General Hospital and Mr Vincent Bamigboye, Obstetrics and Gynaecology Consultant at Furness General Hospital.

[T]he Women and Children’s teams at University Hospital of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT) are embracing technology and holding daily handovers via video-link between staff who work on their busy delivery suites at Furness General Hospital (FGH) and the Royal Lancaster Infirmary (RLI).

The video-conferencing calls are short multi-disciplinary briefings which have been introduced to give clinical and non-clinical staff working on the delivery suites at each
hospital the opportunity to discuss any issues of the day. The daily calls help the teams share information and learning about women and babies in their care.

Alison Mayor, Central Delivery Suite Ward Manager, RLI, said: “We set these daily video-conferencing calls up between our two delivery suites at the RLI and FGH to discuss individual cases and share information about the mums and babies we’re caring for.

“This allows our midwives, obstetricians and maternity assistants to discuss each woman and baby on a case-by-case basis which will help us spot if a baby or new mum’s condition raises any concerns, as well as help us to prevent any missed diagnosis. It also helps us get advice from colleagues at another unit if we need it.”

Ensuring a good handover between teams across hospitals helps to ensure staff at the Trust can deliver woman-centred care that is individual to the woman. During the meetings, the teams review what went well in the last 24 hours; what could be done better; if there have been any incidents; whether the clinical systems and processes
we have in place are reliable; and any learnings from the day.

Gail Nesbitt, Maternity Ward Manager, FGH, said: “Our teams already meet daily to discuss each woman and baby we care for, but we have now extended these meetings across our two busy delivery suites. We hold these video-calls at a set time every day, and encourage all members of the team to attend. The aim is to create an environment where staff working in different hospitals regularly communicate with each other and feel safe to raise concerns about patient safety.

“These meetings are having a positive effect on our teams and the women in our care, and help us to demonstrate that we are keeping all our mums-to-be, new mums and their babies safe by constantly reviewing and improving the quality of care we give.”

Sascha Wells, Director of Midwifery, said: “These video-calls are designed to standardise handovers across our delivery suites and will help us to improve patient safety, staff satisfaction and allow our teams to discuss individual cases and help us understand what is going on with each woman and new born baby in our care. They also strengthen the working relationships between our midwives and doctors and obstetricians.

“We’ve introduced many changes across maternity services in the last five years, but we know we will always have more work to do. Mums and families are at the heart of
everything we do at Morecambe Bay. I am confident we are moving in the right direction by learning, reflecting, truly listening and sharing to deliver compassionate, high quality, evidence-based and safer maternity services across Morecambe Bay.”

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