Better Births at #UltimateULHT - Go with strong team members and the rest will follow


- Using virtual technology via ‘Attend Anywhere’ for booking appointment and 16 week check in appointment; Service is busy; there was never anyone to lead on it

- There was a lack of engagement

- Support from IT was limited owing to their own priorities

- As part of Better Births campaign we always wanted more digital work to allow women to access services for consultant clinics ie booking for caesarean section and inductions

- Lack of headsets with microphone and ipads on maternity ward to source women’s feedback electronically and source immediate patient experience whilst in maternity service


- More efficient/improved KPIs ie make contact with women by 9+3 wks already noted improvement as women are no longer awaiting for an appointment in GP surgery or community centre


- COVID-19 was the catalyst and demands was there anyway – this was the push that was needed

- Still offer face to face appointments – women like it (feedback)

- Non English speaking; 3 way conversation with translation services

- Offer of 1:1 antenatal class for those who need further support and question and answer session

- Having sufficient numbers of laptops and access to IT equipment

- Provision of a means to enable 1:1 chats to maintain confidentially

- Offer of breastfeeding support 24/7 and including during the night – still an issue


- Sharing good news stories via our video featuring on Look North and demonstrating how we are continuing our services during the lockdown period

Potential for growth of service in a myriad of ways:

- Allow for health promotion opportunities in early pregnancy ie taking folic acid/addressing COVID-19 concerns/opening up discussions on issues such as mental health and domestic violence

- Providing online virtual antenatal group sessions with the prospect of more attending in the comfort of their own home

- Video clips produced in collaboration with comms (Nikki galley) for active birth/breast feeding/what to expect coming into hospital/partners role and explanation of why there are visiting restrictions

- Opportunity for audit of reduced pressure c/o no visitors/no shopping/no activity due to lockdown measures and correlations with breastfeeding rates continuing during COVID-19


- Meeting booking targets via 15 minute midwife appointments for screening/weight/BMI using Medway to do this analysis. Screening targets potentially now not missed as they should take place before the 12 week scan

- Potential to increase breastfeeding rates and reduction in DNA appointments – women not having to travel far if at all, not having to take time off work, accommodate clinic waiting times etc

Resources / team

- Project Manager Clare Frank was an enabler in ensuring this was launched within service

- Midwives who are shielding are able to work a normal day by doing bookings so are still feeling useful when 30% shielded reduction which would have impacted on service

- Having IT midwifery leads to support training for staff to use the service

Key learning

- Communicating changes to staff, now understand there are other means of doing this as well as other electronic means such as email

- Consider use of online meetings as a way forward for discussing/introducing improvements may be the way forward as currently do this with band 7 team

- Using social media accounts to send out messages and photos to staff and women to cascade information and delivering messages in a timely way

Tips for others

- Find someone in the team willing to embrace change and use them to take everyone on the journey with them

Emma Upjohn, Deputy Head of Midwifery

  • Acute
  • Acute > Clinical Support
  • Acute > Clinical Support > UltimateULHT
  • Acute > Family Care
  • Acute > Family Care > Maternity
  • Acute > Family Care > Communication
  • Acute > Patient Empowerment
  • Acute > Patient Experience
  • Acute > Patient Safety
  • Campaigns
  • Campaigns > CV-19
  • #FabChange2020
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