6 November 2023

Blog by Amanda Andrews

Amanda Andrews

A week of events is under way to raise the profile of a series of measures designed to boost outcomes in maternity services. Our programme manager Amanda Andrews describes their impact.

Within maternity and neonatal services, the national priorities for patient safety improvement are set out within the Maternity and Neonatal Safety Improvement Programme (MatNeo SIP).

Patient Safety Collaboratives (PSC) are commissioned to support Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) across England to bring about systematic and sustainable improvement to patient safety.

In the North West region there are two PSCs supporting implementation of MatNeo SIP for NHS trusts with maternity and neonatal services. For Health Innovation North West Coast (HINWC), Programme Manager Amanda Andrews supports 11 trusts in the region. For Health Innovation Manchester (HInM) Caroline Finch, Programme Development Lead, and Rebecca Williams, Project Officer, support nine trusts in Greater Manchester.

Over the last two years, both PSCs have undertaken a collaborative approach to share expertise, knowledge and resources to support local teams with implementation of the optimisation and stabilisation of the preterm infant programme.

Key to supporting local teams has been our close collaboration with the North West Neonatal Operational Delivery Network (NWNODN) who provide improvement data for the optimisation care bundle. This data is extracted from the neonatal Badgernet system and helps us to guide our conversations around local improvement when meeting teams.  Catherine Nash, Lead Quality Improvement neonatal nurse for the NWNODN, has been instrumental in supporting myself and Caroline in developing collaborative relationships with neonatal and maternity teams across the North West.

With expertise in quality improvement, clinical backgrounds in midwifery (Caroline and Amanda) and neonatal nursing (Catherine), we appreciate the complexities and pressures maternity and neonatal services face and have used our experience to flexibly support teams in a variety of ways. We have also received support from many of our clinicians who generously give their time and support when needed.

We have provided six virtual special interest groups (SIGS) delivered quarterly, focussing on specific areas of the optimisation bundle such as normothermia, optimal cord clamping and QI tools.  We have also held an awards event to celebrate the progress of teams based on their local improvement data. 

We invite local optimisation teams to share QI projects and good practice, and clinicians share their specialist clinical knowledge and expertise to facilitate learning.

Recent events have seen local neonatologists supporting the launch of the new caffeine and volume targeted ventilation interventions by providing sessions on underpinning theory, evidence, and examples of how they can be implemented into local practice. Obstetricians have presented around the challenges and sustainability of magnesium sulphate and antenatal steroids - the evidence.  See the NWC MatNeo SIP Futures platform for all our optimisation SIG event presentations and Greater Manchester and Eastern Cheshire resources can be found on the FutureNHS platform

We have had 201 people attending one or more of our virtual optimisation events and receive really good feedback from clinicians who value learning and sharing ideas with other units. An example of this is a neonatologist who shared how their team had embedded the optimisation care bundle into everyday practice through the establishment of a local multi-disciplinary Preterm Optimisation Group (POG). Following this event at subsequent optimisation support visits we heard how several units across the North West were adopting this practice to support local implementation.

We have also included parents at our learning events to speak about their experiences of optimisation, which has given food for thought on how optimal care can be achieved, and communication improved between medical professionals and parents around the time of birth. 

We regularly meet all our respective local optimisation improvement teams both virtually and by site visits to discuss current optimisation improvement data, local improvement plans and support with any issues identified.

We have visited maternity and neonatal teams across the North West as part of a roadshow to discuss implementation of the pre-term birth optimisation bundle with units.

During our roadshows we delivered a variety of resources we have developed including posters for displaying in staff meeting areas, pens, mugs, and quick reference cards that attach to staff ID cards. These have helped local improvement teams to engage the wider clinical team by ensuring the optimisation programme is visible throughout the unit, helping staff to keep it front of mind. We have also worked with Spoons charity to co-develop a leaflet on optimisation for parents.

Visits like this are just one way to support teams in delivering MatNeo SIP.

We have collaborated with Liverpool Women’s Hospital to organise an optimisation week to raise the awareness of optimisation of the preterm infant across the North West. Alongside social media promotion throughout the week we are excited to host an in-person collaborative event at Liverpool Women’s Hospital on 9 November. We are using this as an opportunity to showcase all the excellent improvement work that has been undertaken in the region in the last two years, give teams the opportunity to network and provide some workshops to support learning.

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