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Winners of Maternity Experience Challenge Fund announced

Two winning applications* have been given the go-ahead under the #MatExp Challenge Fund for innovation in using patient feedback to make improvements in maternity services.

Judges have selected the winners from 64 entries for the #MatExp Challenge Fund, which was announced to trusts last month.

The winning entries are:

  • University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay – Improving the Culture of Communication of the Maternity Multidisciplinary Team through Experience Based Co-design, Communication Training Toolkit.

The project will develop a more intense, innovative and radical approach to addressing negative patient experience and develop a cultural change in communication across maternity teams. Using patient feedback and involvement of families, real stories and experiences, this project aims to develop a training video describing how communication impacts upon service users.

  • Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust – “Nobody’s patient”, seriously ill women and babies falling through the gaps – a #MatExp extension project.

The project will design and develop Whose Shoes?(r) scenarios content** that will enable service users and health care providers to discuss local successes and challenges, leading to collaborative improvement work. A new toolkit will be developed to explore collection and use of feedback from seldom heard groups: families with babies in neo-natal units (NNU); severely ill women faced with an unexpectedly serious illness in pregnancy or the immediate postnatal period and women who miscarry in the second trimester.

The Challenge Fund was created by NHS England at the request of Ben Gummer, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health. His Care Quality portfolio includes improvement initiatives such as the Friends and Family Test and other insight work involving patient feedback. He takes a particular interest in improving maternity services.

Health Minister Ben Gummer said:  “The best maternity services across the NHS listen carefully to the views of mothers and their families. This pilot programme will help healthcare workers go even further to use patient feedback in innovative ways to improve maternity care.”

The Fund aims to encourage grass-roots initiatives, designed by NHS staff and involving service users, for developing ways to make better use of patient insight to deliver improved services.  It is not about further collections of data but about finding new ways to use the feedback that trusts are already collecting to generate change and add value for patients.

A key focus of the National Maternity Review, published on 23 February, is around patient centred care. Trialling new ways of collecting patient feedback will help services respond to patient need and help to improve maternity services on an ongoing basis.

Kath Evans, NHS England’s Maternity Experience of Care Lead, said: “The Challenge Fund presents an early opportunity to take forward initiatives that will deliver on theobjectives of putting women and their families at the centre of care and listening to their feedback.

“It also builds on a lot of good work already going on in relation to maternity experience, with insight from a range of sources – patient surveys, the Friends and Family Test, patient letters, complaints and discussion on social media – helping to identify issues, find solutions and share good practice.

“The winning initiatives, which will be implementing the pilots over the months ahead, will make an important contribution to this ongoing work to ensure that maternity services in the NHS provide the best quality experience they can to enhance what should be a joyful experience for the families involved.”

* This text was changed on 15 July following feedback that the previous information was inaccurate.

** This text was changed on 15 July as additional copyright information was required.

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One comment

  1. Well done colleagues at Whittington Health and Best Beginnings team on winning this innovative award. We are right behind you and cheering you on, as a former staff of the maternity unit.