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Supporting the NHSE 3 year plan for maternity and neonatal services

Blog by Emma Price, Maternity Product Specialist.

Emma Price, Maternity Product Specialist at NervecentreDigital transformation is a core theme in national NHS plans to improve maternity care, previously identified as a key work stream that can contribute to the clear vision for safer, more personalised care. At the end of March 2023, NHS England (NHSE) released a new three-year delivery plan to support the continued improvement of care being given to mothers and their families. One of the plan’s objectives is the better use of digital technology in maternity and neonatal services.

At Nervecentre, we’re fully behind this digital commitment to maternity care, and as the company’s Maternity Product Specialist (and a practising midwife), I must be cognisant of national guidance that’s driving change within maternity care. So, let’s see how Nervecentre’s currently-available and planned EPR functionality supports the major themes identified in this Three Year Delivery Plan.

Listening to and working with women and families with compassion

Personalised care planning in collaboration with the family is a key part of this theme. Nervecentre has configured antenatal, birth, postnatal and neonatal personalised care plans within its EPR. The plans can be configured to suit the trust and also allow individualised input. Each personalised plan is automatically activated at the booking appointment and then regularly reviewed as the clinicians are encouraged to review and risk assess the care plans at each contact by a care pathway. Furthermore, as maternity is part of the EPR, the digital plans are easily accessible to all members of the multidisciplinary team (MDT). Patients will be able to access their plans using the Nervecentre patient app, which also facilitates bidirectional messaging with clinicians. These communications regarding care planning can then become part of normal clinical workflows.

Nervecentre is a fully integrated EPR incorporating end-to-end maternity capabilities, facilitating a single view for each pregnant person. This ensures that any national service specification, such as broadening of the maternity solution to include services including pelvic health care and improving bereavement services, can be seamlessly incorporated into the system. The full integration of well-recognised screening tools such as GAD7 and PHQ9 ensures the clinician is fully supported to identify and automatically refer mental health concerns during the pregnancy continuum.

Standards and structures that underpin safer, more personalised, and more equitable care

There is also a focus on enabling digital tools that support clinical information flow, promoting the capture of high-quality data that can be examined and utilised to improve clinical practice and care for families. Having a single electronic patient record will help simplify the measurement and interpretation of this data. Nervecentre’s mobile technology allows for real-time data capture as soon as it’s known at the bedside. Clinicians and operational teams, therefore, have a single source of truth and can make actionable decisions based on this real-time data. Additionally, there are plans to integrate nationally defined observation models such as maternity early warning scores (MEWS) and the updated newborn early warning trigger and track (NEWTT2) as digital tools. Using these tools with our well-established, collaborative task and escalation functionality will ensure timely and rapid mobilisation of the correct MDT members to support safe care.

Compliance with the refreshed Maternity Services Data Set, Digital Maternity Record Standard and NHSE specification for an EPR maternity solution will guarantee the standardisation of records so that the right information is available to clinicians to make safe decisions and rebalance inequalities. By demonstrating an understanding of national regulatory drivers such as the NHS Resolution CNST maternity incentive scheme and underpinning the system with best evidence guidance, such as NICE, to help shape our clinical workflows, Nervecentre will enable trusts to evidence clear clinical data that supports the success measures identified within this plan.

Nervecentre recognises the focus on the importance of progressing digital maturity within the plan and welcomes any opportunities to collaborate with trusts to meet the maternity priorities clearly set out by NHSE for the next three years.

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