NHS Early Adopters in Maternity Services: Somerset – Part 1

>>Helen Williams: Yeovil is a small DGH in
southeast Somerset, and as a maternity service we deliver just 1,500 babies a year. It’s
a consultant‑led service, but we also provide midwifery‑led care. Our women live in a
very rural area, and there are areas of high deprivation. We applied to be an Early Adopter
site because we’re already working in close partnership with our colleagues at Taunton,
having laid the foundations of a local maternity system across Somerset. We were thrilled to
be selected as an Early Adopter, as this enabled us to take forward our work at pace, with
support and encouragement from NHS England. Over the next two years we plan to improve
services, particularly around postnatal care and perinatal mental health, by introducing
a new postnatal practitioner role within maternity services. This role will be embedded in the
maternity and health visiting teams working across both. There will be a pilot of a two‑year
formal education programme resulting in a nurse associate-level practitioner qualification.
It’s really important that we ensure sustainability of the role in the longer term.
>>Debra Young: We deliver about 3,200 babies each year in Taunton, and we work very closely
with our partners in Somerset, Yeovil District Hospital. As a result of being an Early Adopter
site, one of the ways services will improve is that we will have digital patient records.
One of the big challenges we face at the moment is that both provider trusts have different
maternity systems, there’s no electronic data collection in either community, and both
services have paper records. Our vision for an improved service is that
we will have connectivity between our provider trusts’ different systems, and between primary
and secondary care, and also direct access for women for their care records and the services
that we offer, and everything they need to know about their pregnancy care, and that
staff have point-of-care data entry. All of this will enable us to evidence the improvements
in care that we’re making, and the great services that we’re offering.

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