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Meet the team


  • Julia Crawshaw - Programme Manager, Maternity Transformation
  • Janet Bradley - Director of Midwifery and Gynaecology Nursing
  • Lisa Massey - Lead Midwife for Clinical Governance

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

Through a change to the use of virtual & telephone appointments, availability of online resources and the maternity team collaborating in new ways both within and outside the hospital – with health visitors, GPS & community midwifery colleagues – women continued to feel supported during the Covid lockdown period. They were able to engage with the service in different ways beyond the just the face to face contact they had anticipated and successfully received relevant guidance & useful information.

Continuation of this will give further flexibility for women engaging with the service, and support the on-going collaborative working to deliver beneficial support and patient experience.

What does your project aim to achieve?

The project aims to deliver a dedicated maternity telephone assessment service that will enable women to gain advice, support and information from a consistent single source and enable easy collaboration with community care partners.

The key objectives are:

  • To create a single point of contact for pregnancy, labour and postnatal questions
  • To provide women and families reassurance, support and advice from  qualified midwives
  • To reduce risk by recording contacts on a single system which highlights multiple attendances.
  • To refer women as appropriate to resources in the local community such as GPs, feeding support services and health visitors.
  • To be accessible to all women, through use of live interpreting services

At present, women make contact with the maternity services in many different ways.  This can lead to a lack of consistent information and moreover on occasion vital information being missed.

How will the project be delivered?

While staffing is already in place through availability to allocate a midwife to the telephone assessment service every shift, the technology, systems and protocols & procedures need to be developed

  • We will co-design standardised protocols and procedures with our service users and partner organisations
  • Working with the team & IT support we will appraise & decide best options for equipment, software – to enable contact and information recording – and access to language line / translation services (including for deaf service users) as needed.

Impact and efficacy of the service will be measured in a number of ways, including:

  • Number of referrals made
  • Regular feedback from users, community partners and staff

Risks will be managed throughout but it is anticipated that the dedicated telephone line will reduce risk in the unit by channeling all enquiries in to a single source, with staff having clearly defined advice and referral processes in place.

How is your project going to share learning?

The maternity service is already a key contributor to a number of networks through which the learning will be shared via presentation, teaching sessions and formal and informal contacts.  These networks include:

  • South West London Local Maternity System (including primary care, commissioners and other Trusts)
  • London Maternity  Clinical Network (clinical leaders in maternity care in the capital)
  • London Maternity Voices Partnership (maternity patient /user groups)
  • National Directors of Midwifery / Consultant Midwives’ networks

Sharing will be open and honest and can include sharing of guidelines and protocols, as well as positive and negative learning points.  We will also continue to seek to learn from others, primarily the women using the service, but also staff working both on the assessment line and alongside it and other community and primary care functions.

How you can contribute

  • Sharing any learning from implementation of similar telephone based assessment services
  • Advice on key points of evaluation to ensure we capture, learn and develop a successful experience for users and staff members
  • We will share with our our network and others for critical review & suggestions to improve and further develop in the future

Plan timeline

1 Feb 2021 Initiate work with IT to review technology / telephone system options
4 Apr 2021 Agree Phase I technology / telephone systems and plan implementation
9 Apr 2021 Develop guidelines & protocols in collaboration with local partners and users
12 Apr 2021 Initiate advertising service to women & families
23 Apr 2021 Define service evaluation methods & process
28 May 2021 Complete staff training on guidelines and protocols
31 May 2021 Launch Phase I telephone assessment service as PDSA pilot
28 Jun 2021 Evaluate pilot
30 Jul 2021 Refine & adapt as needed following evaluation
2 Aug 2021 Adopt telephone assessment service as business as usual
6 Sep 2021 Continue IT /Technology assessment for Phase II voice & video
4 Oct 2021 Test Phase II video call solutions
4 Oct 2021 Update guidelines & protocols as necessary with partners & users
1 Nov 2021 Update training for staff covering new features
12 Nov 2021 Plan & launch Phase II voice & video call assessment service
10 Jan 2022 Evaluate Phase II ongoing service

Project updates

  • 2 Oct 2021

    While a little delayed through unfortunate continued Covid and other pressures we are now making good progress towards our objective of launching the dedicated maternity triage / advice & guidance telephone service

    Our progress to date includes:

    May 21 – Detail analysis of calls to multiple extensions within maternity has given us insight into how many calls we receive (an average of over 12,000 external calls per month!) we now have a baseline of how many currently go unanswered and the volume helps us decide which should be directed to the new service.

    June21 – Engaging with ICT team & digital leads to review technology options. Reviewing guidelines, standard procedures & experience from other trusts in London and the Southeast to inform our initial approach.

    Aug 21 – Agreed initial technology solution and call line systems with plan for first implementation. Agreeing solution to record discussion narrative and guidance given directly into patient records for onward visibility & sharing – including in the community.

    Engagement with our maternity voices partnership (MVP) to discuss approach – planning a patient representatives workshop in early October to fine tune our procedures, accessibility in terms of messaging for patients and how we define & measure success.

    We are looking forward to continuing our positive momentum towards having the new service live soon, with key next steps of the project being:

    October 21 – Finalise our initial procedures, messaging & access through discussion with patient partners. Install IT and equipment into our new dedicated area.

    November 21 – Launch our pilot triage / advice & guidance line with on-going awareness and marketing.

    Nov 21 to Feb 22 – continue engagement with our MVP patient partners to review & gain feedback and continue to evaluate against our measurement framework.


  1. Guest

    michaela senek 1 year, 7 months ago

    I recommend that you use tools that are readily available and that patients are familiar with. For instance, social media tools like facebook, whatsapp and others.

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