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Maternity services given £250,000 boost

Midwives from Slough down to Farnham will be able to deliver better, more joined-up services to local people thanks to a successful bid for national funding.

The Frimley Local Maternity System has been awarded £250,000 pounds by the national Digital Maternity Fund.

The extra money will be used to improve infrastructure, technology and connectivity in a series of ‘maternity hubs’ which are being developed across the area. The advances will improve the quality of patient care for expectant and new mothers, as well as increasing patient safety.

Kevin Percival, Chief Nursing Officer for Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We’re working hard to develop the maternity hubs, which will be focal points within our communities for services for pregnant women and new mums, offering not just midwifery but a range of additional services, including breast feeding support, mental health and more.

“This additional funding will help us to get ahead of the curve and ensure the hubs have all the hightech equipment and the communication resources to support them to provide an excellent service.

“This will include hardware, such as laptops and network connections, to software which will enable the hubs to update a patient’s medical or hospital record instantaneously, so all clinicians treating that person will have the very latest information.”

Across Frimley Health and Care – covering East Berkshire, Surrey Heath, Farnham and North East Hampshire – digital technology is being used more and more across all services to support patient care in a range of ways, including through improved patient record keeping and sharing, by faster, secure communication and through access to more data to support the planning of services. These changes are vital to achieving one of Frimley Health and Care’s key aims: tackling health inequalities among local people.

One technological investment being rolled out across the area is pulse oximetry (measuring blood oxygen levels) for newborn babies, which can help to detect potentially serious health conditions that can then be treated.

Welcoming the awards of the additional funding to different maternity systems, Jules Gudgeon, the National Digital Midwife Lead for Maternity for NHS England and Improvement, said: “With this funding we are one step closer to interoperable record sharing, regardless of location or system used, for the benefit of women and pregnant people and the clinicians caring for them.”

Frimley Health and Care