Mums-to-be in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire will be able to access their maternity records on their smart phones thanks to funding which is set to ‘digitally revolutionise’ maternity services in the county.
Maternity services up and down the country are being supported to step away from paper records and leap into the digital age with national funding from NHSX and the United Tech Fund.
As part of this funding, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust and Sherwood Forest Hospitals have been awarded £1.7 million after a successful bid by the Local Maternity and Neo Natal System (LMNS) to help support digital improvements across its maternity services.
Rosa Waddingham, Chief Nurse at NHS Nottingham and Nottinghamshire CCG and chair of the LMNS, said: “It is fantastic news that we will be receiving funding to digitally enhance our services for the benefit of the people we care for. This funding will have a direct benefit to our patients who will be able to access their records digitally going forward.
“Digital tools are one of the ways we can improve safety, improve reporting and share information with women and pregnant people and their families so they can feel more supported throughout their pregnancy and maternity journey.
“It will also allow for greater joined up working across the system which will transform the way we see patients. The care or our patients is our top priority and I welcome this funding into our system so we can continue to develop our services further.”
Nottingham’s hospitals were awarded the funding after a successful bid to the Digital Maternity Fund. This successful bid will help to deliver an enhanced experience for both maternity service users and staff across both Trusts.
Nottingham University Hospitals Director of Midwifery Sharon Wallis said: “I am really pleased that this investment is coming at a critical time for our service, and will help drive forward the improvements that have been taking place at NUH.
“This new funding will allow us to take a huge leap forward in delivering quality care to pregnant people across our county”.
One of the main benefits that pregnant women in Nottinghamshire will see is a new digital maternity system that links both hospital Trusts and comes with a patient held record, rather than the traditional paper records that they take to appointments at the moment – this means patients will be able to access their record easily from their own phones, transforming how they, and their families, make decisions for themselves.
The funding will also support investment in additional devices, resulting in easier connectivity for clinical staff working within both hospitals, as well as out in the community.
Sherwood Forest Hospitals’ Chief Nurse, Julie Hogg, added: “I am delighted that Nottingham and Nottinghamshire have been awarded these funds and I’m excited to see how it will help improve the maternity journey for our pregnant women and birthing people and put them in control, with information easily accessible at all times, really improving the experience for everyone.
“It represents a significant milestone in our digital transformation programme and is an exciting opportunity for us to work collaboratively with women, birthing people and their families to ensure we gain the maximum benefits from the technology.”
There were 128 successful bids to the Digital Maternity Fund from across England. Money will be given to NHS organisations across the country to improve infrastructure, technology systems and connectivity.
Dr Peter-Marc Fortune, Clinical SRO – NHSEI Digital Child Health and Maternity Programme added: “We have seen some excellent examples of regional and local collaboration in the bids received. We want funds to be used for maximum impact and to address some of the inequalities at local level.”