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Meet the team


  • Laura Donaldson - Communication Manager
  • Didi Craze - Midwife
  • Kelly Parker - Community Midwifery Matron
  • Caro Townsend - MVP Chair

What is the positive change that has emerged through new collaborations or partnerships during Covid-19 that your project is going to embed?

During Covid restrictions, maternity had to limit face to face contact with parents antenatally and postnatally, cancelling antenatal classes with minimal notice.

Staff relations became limited as  training moved on line, staff began working from home and in different areas. It quickly became apparent that  service users were in need of high quality, expert information and guidance, during the whole maternity pathway. They were overwhelmed and confused by the vast array of courses and information available. A recent  study showed  pregnant people spend an average of £400 on antenatal resources that aren’t always midwife led. Being  experts, this led to an opportunity to draw on the midwifery team in creating content that met the service user needs.

Working with the communications team, the social media account is kept relevant. Users and staff are more informed. Using gender neutral, LGBTQ+ and BAME language and images throughout has created a safe, inclusive environment.

What does your project aim to achieve?

The project aim is to innovate so much further with what has already been achieved in just 3 months with the aid of having a midwife dedicated solely to social media.

The aims are:

  • Increase the reach of our pages – marketing, promotional materials and advertising locally, eg, on buses, pharmacists, doctors, schools, council websites
  • Create social media protocol ensuring governance
  • Creating online service user education packages
  • Responsive and measurable approach by posting themes from complaints/incidents/national alerts
  • Link with user groups – MVP’s/PAL’s to tailor posts
  • Work with specialist midwives to reach a wider audience with crucial messaging
  • Have videos/resources translated/subtitles in top 5 languages ensuring inclusivity of vulnerable groups, reducing health inequalities. Feedback form a deaf father: ‘subtitles really useful but I wish they were on every video’
  • Increase unity and collaborative team working within the 2 sites, ensuring service-users across the 500 square mile radius have access to the same standard of information

How will the project be delivered?

This project commenced at the beginning of the pandemic due to service need. A new midwifery role was innovated ”Communications and Media Midwife”. This midwife curated the maternity-related social media content ensuring it was reputable, current and appropriate.

It was co-created with service-users who have actively sought the views of those from less represented groups. The PDSA cycles have demonstrated where the need is as well as highlighting the benefits of being inclusive within a maternity setting.

Using modern technology that our service-users are familiar with, in an approach that they can feel comfortable with, we are meeting the requirements of Better Births in that we adapt our ways of working in a way that is compatible with our service-users lives.

Impact will be measured using service-user and staff feedback.

How is your project going to share learning?

The potential learning across Q and the wider health system is in how investing in a health care professional to lead on the social media strategy, can improve outcomes, both in terms of service-user and staff.

These strategies are usually led by  communication experts. This project will be unique in that it will be the first time that this role is solely in a midwife’s portfolio. The learning will include whether this different lens is successful.

By creating a visible midwifery presence within local circles on social media, information integrity will be increased within the local population. The potential to reduce isolation during these challenging times should not be under estimated.

Feedback from the communications team is that this is leading the way with the innovative approach to engaging with service-users.

An evaluation report will be commissioned towards the end of the first year and shared both internally and externally.

How you can contribute

  • Whether anything similar exists
  • making the bid more robust

Plan timeline

1 Sep 2020 Formating project team
8 Sep 2020 Finalising total cost
9 Sep 2020 Staff feedback of what already exists
16 Sep 2020 Service user feedback


  1. Hello

    A couple of years ago we delivered a health intervention to pregnant women with obesity, using Facebook. It was well-received. The study findings are reviewed for publication. I will share once the paper is published. Good luck

  2. Thank you for all of the comments so far.

    we are currently refining the project idea to take all of the comments into account and would welcome any further comments

  3. Hi Lisa

    Yours is a fabulous idea. I am a nurse and when working as a project manager a few years ago, I set up and ran social media for one of the Health Foundation's Improvement Projects, Cardiologist's Kitchen. It was a really powerful way to connect with our followers, who were generally healthcare professionals and patients, about how the project was progressing. Most importantly, social media is a great medium for delivering health promotion messages in an accessible and reactive format. So, if something relevant appears in the news, you can address it on the same day and that is hugely advantageous.

    For the healthcare professional this role is a demanding 24/7 one. You need to be clear online about what the purpose and limitations of the account are - e.g. someone on the other side of the world, or anywhere in the world, may jump at an opportunity to speak directly to a healthcare professional and request advice for a medical problem. If this is first thing on a Sunday morning, it will still need a thoughtful and appropriate response.

    I managed Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts. We also created a website that people would subscribe to and that process meant that people gave their consent to be contacted, signing up for newsletters and survey questionnaires. This allowed us to collect feedback about their experience of the project overall and their rating of how it all worked from their perspective. I'm not sure how this could work if social media is the sole platform in use.

    You will know most of the above already, as this is 3 months in. If you think that I can help in anyway based on my previous experience, please do get in touch.

    Best Wishes,

    Mary Anne.

  4. This idea sounds really interesting. I know lots of therapy services acorss the country have been using YouTube, FaceBook and other platforms really successfully to reach families over past months but this has often only been possible due to people having a bit more time than usual (e.g. if their usual outpatient clinics were not running due to COVID).

    I think the idea of a clinician running the social media is great - much better than a comms team etc. - but measuring outcomes will be vital. If you can prove that dedicating time in this way has positive impacts i think it could be useful for other professions too - to argue for dedicated time in posts.

    It would be good to include sharing and networking across social media leaders in your profession - there's so much out there online and connecting with other quality content could save time and enhance the offer for your patients.

    It would be great to get IT advice about how to monitor who reads content and when/how - I am sure that experts have so much knowledge about this that NHS could learn from. Our services are so often behind the curve, it would be good to use all the tech knowledge out there for good (rather than just advertising or politics!). I wonder how you could tap into this?

  5. Hi Lisa,

    Myself and my colleague Emma Adams (Health Transformation Partnership) are supporting the Health Foundation this year by fostering conversations between Q members and encouraging collaboration. We were Exchange applicants last year, so we’re hoping that our experience will help us to help others, as their ideas take shape.

    Your project idea is exciting and has the potential for wider learning. Having read through it, I was left with a couple of questions. Do you know of any other maternity services taking this approach or any other services for that matter? (if not, I'll keep my eye out as other ideas come in, to potentially connect you if others are doing similar work). I also wondered, from your project timeline, how the systems development fitted into that and how much of the support you're looking for is for the system itself or for staff development?

    Looking forward to helping you make connections as more project ideas come in and develop. All the best, Pete

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