Recently in the Local Maternity System (LMS) we’ve been thinking about the data we collect around pregnancy and birth and the digital and paper systems we use to do this collection.
Many of you will be parents and will have experienced the highs and lows of pregnancy and birth; and through our Maternity Voices Partnership colleagues we often ask you and other parents about your experiences. One thing we hear often is the frustration and irritation you feel when being asked to repeat your details regularly – whether you are in the unit you intend to give birth in, in the community or whether you have travelled to a different hospital across the area and need advice.
We also talk to our maternity staff and recognise how important it is for them to be able to access this information, to use it to ensure the best quality care and outcomes for our families and provide support quickly wherever they or you might be. They feel the same frustration about having to ask for information and not being able to easily share appropriate data across partners.
So why do we have to keep asking you for information, and why do staff have to enter things repeatedly across their systems?
The systems we are currently using to store pregnancy and birth information across Humber, Coast and Vale are all different. They don’t communicate well in many cases with other related systems in neonatal or primary care and don’t support some of the apps that are becoming more popular to support the pregnancy journey. Across the LMS we sometimes struggle to compare data and frequently have to work with our analysts to provide regular information for the different projects we run.
So, we are currently working with Trusts, IT teams, midwives and many more to identify, procure and implement a single Maternity IT System across the LMS area – one which will support staff to provide safe, quality care now and in the future; enable reports and data to be easily shared; support the use of apps on smartphones for women to have access to their information wherever they travel, and link through to other services in scanning, screening services, health visiting and General Practice.
We’ll be working on this project over the next year or so, starting with market engagement events, progressing a procurement based on a co-produced service specification and then implementing a single new system across the LMS area.
We’d invite you to get in touch with us if you have any personal or professional experiences in pregnancy and birth that you’d like to share that might help us in our choice. Please email us at HullCCG.HCVLMS@nhs.net.