We are working with UCLH, Microsoft, Mumsnet and others to launch a new project funded by the Health Foundation looking to improve antenatal care. Great service makes a difference, and for pregnant women, that difference can mean everything. But pregnant women do not always experience great service, without knowledge or control at the vital moment. This project is about changing that – putting power in the hands of Mums and ensuring antenatal services work around their needs and concerns.
Just 38% of mothers believe they had access to good antenatal information and too few feel as supported as they should. This project will work alongside women, learning from them to create a friendlier, more helpful and more convenient service. It will work with the people women meet during their pregnancy, to think about what more they could do to help and reassure them. It will also look at the tools and systems the service uses. For example, it will look at what can be done through the internet and telephone to provide good information and access to things like test results and appointments.According to Professor Donald Peebles, UCLH consultant obstetrician leading the project, “women will be much more in control of their antenatal care and will be setting the agenda much more than they do now. As women go through their pregnancy they will be linked to the best information and have much improved access to health care professionals”.
The project will put mums-to-be in the driving seat when it comes to their care, improve the quality of services and save the NHS money. It will also make it much easier for women to stay in contact with their named midwife and lead to better sharing of information between hospitals and community care.
As Professor Peebles argues, “managing some of your antenatal care and accessing healthcare professionals from home will be more convenient for busy women and also lead to a massive cost saving for the NHS. Just a small reduction in the number of antenatal visits for women at low risk of complications will save a lot of time and money”. Stay tuned for more information.
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