Last week NHSX launched a new role to recruit a Digital Midwife to support its strategy at a regional and national level. The Digital Midwife will provide leadership and coordination across the digital maternity work streams to improve health outcomes for pregnant women and address health inequalities.
The Digital Midwife will also help NHSX to achieve its five missions, which include reducing the burden on staff, giving people the tools they need to access information, ensuring safety and improving productivity.
The Royal College of Midwives announces the need for digital transformation in maternity care
The NHSX announcement comes just after The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) called for a Digital Midwife in every maternity service in the next 12 months.
The RCM has expressed the importance for every trust to recruit a digital midwife to ‘drive forward digital transformation and clinical informatics of maternity care.’
Hermione Jackson, RCM Digital Advisor, said: “For too long maternity services have been overlooked, passed over and generally left at the back of the queue when it comes to digital investment. Investing in digital technology and giving staff the training and equipment they need will lead to better care, regardless of where that care is delivered.
“There is clear evidence that more and better use of digital technology is supported by women, midwives, maternity support workers and other maternity staff. We need the Government and hospital Trusts and Boards to give maternity services the tech they need to do their jobs even better. Improvements have been happening but at a snail’s pace and we need to see this move much more rapidly simply to catch-up with other areas of the NHS.”
How we’re helping to drive forward digital in maternity care
Inhealthcare provides a telehealth gestational diabetes service to Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust and South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
The service is straight forward – patients are asked to test and submit their blood glucose levels up to seven times a day depending on their condition. Patients communicate readings using a choice of communication channels. Patients and clinicians can also send messages directly to each other.
If readings breach personalised thresholds, a clinician is notified and can step in as necessary with medical intervention, reassurance or advice about diet and lifestyle.
The RCM has emphasised the importance of interoperability and that systems talk to each other. With our service, results are able to feed into GP or hospital PAS systems, meaning the service does not work in silo.
For more information on the service, download our maternity brochure.