The digitisation of maternity services across England has taken a positive step forward with the announcement of 128 successful bids to the Digital Maternity Fund. Money will be given to NHS organisations across the country to improve infrastructure, technology systems and connectivity.
The Humber, Coast and Vale Local Maternity System has been awarded £1.54 million of NHS funds for a successful bid to improve digital maternity services. The funding will help to deliver an enhanced experience for maternity service users and staff. Digital tools are one of the ways the NHS can improve safety and reporting and share information with women and pregnant people and their families so they can feel more supported throughout their pregnancy and maternity journey.
This funding will be used to purchase a new Maternity IT System for three local Trusts – Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust, and York and Scarborough NHS Foundation Trust.
The new system will mean birthing centres at the trusts will all be able to use the latest digital systems to ensure the safest and highest quality care for all women and birthing staff. It will enable staff to work more easily across the system, provide information on birth trends and enable data to be shared appropriately with other health and care professionals, such as GPs and Health Visitors. Also, the system includes an app that will enable service users to have digital access to their notes, information about tests and appointments and link them through to local and national advice when they need it.
Becky Case, Programme Lead for Humber, Coast and Vale Local Maternity System said: “We are hugely excited at this opportunity to have a single Maternity IT system supporting care across hospitals and in our communities. We are confident this will support our staff and all those giving birth in the area now and enable us to continue to innovate and improve in the future too.”
Dr Peter-Marc Fortune, Clinical Senior Responsible Officer at NHS England and NHS Improvement Digital Child Health and Maternity Programme added: “We have seen some excellent examples of regional and local collaboration in the bids received. We want the funds to be used for maximum impact and to address some of the inequalities at local level.”
Jules Dudgeon, National Digital Midwife Lead for Maternity at NHS England and NHS Improvement said: “With this funding we are one step closer to inter-operable record sharing, regardless of location or system used, for the benefit of women and pregnant people and the clinicians caring for them.”
Clevermed’s CEO Jane Stephenson added: “BadgerNet is a nationally-hosted Maternity and Neonatal system which provides a joined-up record of care wherever the pregnant person presents. It includes access for all those involved in the process, including smartphone and browser-based access to the mother’s records. Designed and delivered as a managed service, BadgerNet is updated every two months to ensure it stays up to date with the latest information throughout all aspects of the system.”