An NHS Digital-run group for digital midwives has won an award for 'Use of Technology in Midwifery' at the British Journal of Midwifery awards.
The Digital Midwife Expert Reference Group is a group of 200 digital midwives representing more than 100 NHS trusts across England – who work together to embrace technology which will deliver safer, better and more effective care.
Set up by the Digital Maternity programme at NHS Digital in 2018, the group has quickly become a resource, a network and a safe place amongst peers.
As the only one of its kind, the group is the "go-to" place for support, guidance and shared learning in driving digital maturity.
Julia Gudgeon, NHS Digital’s Clinical Informatics Lead in the Digital Maternity Team, said: “We’re delighted to win this award, which recognises the efforts of this fantastic network of digital midwives who have (for the first time) given us a clear understanding of the digital landscape across England’s maternity services.
“National organisations are now being given clear direction by the group on what they want to see in the future, so these once unknown midwives are changing and driving our digital future.
“It is down to digital midwives that the NHS is able to make use of the technologies we are introducing. They are laying out the runway, so that we can land new technology that is useful, usable and used.”
In 2018, the Digital Maternity team worked with the members from the group across 20 pilot sites in England to provide a convenient means for pregnant women to access their electronic record.
To date 125,000 women have been offered Women's Digital Care Record (WDCR) with around 5,500 new women gaining access each month in these areas.
The group's work was also showcased within the Long Term Plan and the overall success was attributed to the strong digital leadership and a unified approach to solving problems.
Roger Carter, Programme Manager for the Digital Maternity Programme at NHS Digital, said: “Over the last 18 months, the role of a "Digital Midwife" has evolved greatly. No longer working in isolation, the group has developed a national voice, which is empowered to deliver on the Long Term Plan.
“The broad purpose is to make real the digital recommendations within Better Births and the Long Term Plan as an enabler for safer, more personalised, kinder, professional and family friendly maternity care.”