A team of local community midwives is in line for a national award after pushing through changes which afford them more one-to-one time with expectant mums.
Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust’s Community Midwifery Team has been shortlisted in the ‘Team of the Year’ category of the 2013 Nursing Times Awards.
The nomination comes after the team, led by community midwives Anne Welham and Sallie Ward, worked to establish a series of community equipment stores for their service and, in doing so, have saved at least 1,200 miles and 50 hours of midwives’ travel time every month.
The ‘Stores: Mission Possible!’ project was set in motion when the team joined Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust’s Pioneer Team programme earlier this year, which encourages groups of staff to identify problems or areas for improvement and then take the lead on resolving them.
“Our team supports pregnant women and their partners living across the whole of East Yorkshire, providing ante-natal and postnatal care and advice to 6,000 women and their babies, as well as supporting around 55 women each year to deliver their babies at home.
“Despite the fact that we work across such a large area, the clinical and clerical supplies that we need to carry out our roles have traditionally been delivered centrally and then redistributed by clerical and clinical staff out to our community bases. On top of the obvious time and cost implications, managing our stores in this way made it difficult to control stock as some items were being taken out in bulk which then led to shortages for other midwives, or some items taken out to the community in large quantities were then going past their use-by dates and being wasted.
“We wanted our budget to be used to best effect for the families in our care, and we wanted the right equipment available when needed and in the right place. Working as one of the Trust’s Pioneer Teams, we were keen to find a way of ensuring all of our midwives who work out in the community were able to quickly and easily access the kit they needed without having to spend excessive amounts of time travelling or see stock going to waste.”
Working with other colleagues and services across the Trust, the team has instigated a number of solutions including regular deliveries from the Supplies Team to community locations, plus other time and cost saving ideas such as calibrating baby weighing scales in-house rather than through external companies, servicing of equipment at community bases on a rolling programme and the introduction of a standardised day bag for all community midwives.
“It wasn’t easy and, in fact, solving the problem we originally identified stretched far beyond what we’d imagined, but with support from colleagues we’ve managed to arrange for weekly deliveries of supplies to numerous health centres across our area. Not only does this save on our travel time and the associated cost, more importantly it means we have more time available to spend with local women, helping to prepare them for one of the most magical times of their lives.
“We’re really excited to have been nominated for the Nursing Times Awards and hope that all those who have put their effort into this simple but important project ultimately get the recognition they deserve.”
The Community Midwifery Team is the second team from Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust to be shortlisted for this year’s Nursing Times Awards. The Trust’s Occupational Health Team will also be vying for the ‘Excellence in supporting staff health and well-being category’ for its work to increase staff uptake of the flu vaccination and reduce levels of absence from colds and flu.
Both teams will discover whether they have triumphed when the winners are announced at the Nursing Times Awards ceremony in London on 30th October.