As well as rolling out Attend Anywhere to ante-natal clinics, we are extending the service into the family liaison room. This room was specially set up for couples to meet up with a midwife to talk over events that may have been troubling or upsetting, such as an emergency caesarean or an unexpected intervention such as forceps delivery.
We can now offer a secure space through video to deliver this same service, which can help people better understand what has happened to them.
There is no doubt that everyone is missing physical contact. Midwifery is a tactile profession but obviously we must be careful. When women come into hospital, we have to wear masks and gloves.
It’s not normal and it is challenging, but the move to a video platform has been very positive and I’m sure we will continue to use it in the future.
One-to-one appointments will continue to be important, but Lincolnshire is a very rural area and we have five peripheral clinics. Not everyone has a car and public transport is limited. If we can minimise that amount of travel, I think that will be of great benefit to our pregnant women.
The recent transition to an electronic maternity record is equally important, especially when appointments are held on the phone or over video calling. We’d be lost without them during this time. The maternity records also enable vital information to be shared with other hospitals and clinics. All our clinicians have access to our Maternity Information System wherever they are working from. That can only benefit a mum-to-be, who can give birth at any place, any time.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been very challenging but the technological adaptations we have had to make will be enduring in keeping us better connected.