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Making care safer for women and their babies

a pregnant women holds her bump

a pregnant women holds her bump

We've marked World Patient Safety Day (Friday 17 September), which this year focuses on maternity and neonatal care, by sharing initiatives which we’ve introduced to make our services safer.

A virtual event took place for staff across our Trust, with presentations focusing on our improvements, from reducing the time taken for women to be seen in our triage area, to enhanced training on monitoring babies’ heartbeats and movement in the womb.

Midwives also held a stall outside Queen’s Hospital to offer information and guidance to women, including encouragement and advice on having the Covid-19 vaccine.

Michelle Dexter, our interim Head of Midwifery, said: “I am really passionate about ensuring our pregnant women have the vaccine to protect themselves and their babies.

“This is being raised with women as soon as they register with us and at all appointments, this gives them an opportunity to ask advice from their midwife and address any concerns they may have. It’s important woman realise when having any vaccine while pregnant, whether for Covid, whooping cough or flu, it does not reach the baby. The only thing that crosses the placenta barrier is the protective antibodies which build up in mum after having the injection.”

Other safety initiatives which have been introduced include; eye-catching stickers on women’s notes to bring any issues to their midwives’ attention, most recently added was a sticker if mum has a negative blood type and needs an injection to protect her baby; a Maternal Serious Incident Group, which reviews incidents on a weekly basis to ensure learning from them can be implemented straight away; and more continuity of care for women, such as when we introduced our Hera Midwives in May this year.

Kathryn Halford, our Chief Nurse, said: “It’s great that we are focusing on maternal and child health this World Patient Safety Day. It’s been a difficult couple of years for everyone, and particularly new parents.

“We’ve been doing lots of work to look at how to improve our maternity services, and how they may look in the future. Covid shone a light on the inequalities that we have, including in maternity, and we will be doing more work around that. There is lots of innovative work going on and I’m delighted to showcase it.”

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