Midwives who led the creation of two innovative services for pregnant women at Basildon University Hospital have been shortlisted for national awards.
A social media advice service has been shortlisted in the British Journal of Midwifery (BJM) 2018 Practice Awards, under the ‘use of technology in midwifery’ category.
Maternity Direct Plus was created and launched in November 2015 by Rebecca Tranter, midwife, to provide prompt and personal responses from midwives to women who have non-urgent queries about their pregnancy. The service is available from 7am to 9pm every day of the week, except bank holidays, for women in the Basildon and Thurrock area.
As well as posting daily information and advice on topics such as pre-conceptual care, the Maternity Direct Plus midwives answer queries from pregnant women via private messaging.
The service currently has 4,500 followers and responds to up to 30 messages each day. About 70% of queries are dealt with on the spot by the midwives – the rest may be
referred to other services such as the woman’s GP or the gynaecology referral unit in the hospital. It is very popular with users, with more than 60 five-star online reviews and a high volume of positive and appreciative feedback.
The BJM judges told Rebecca: “This is a fantastic achievement that recognises the quality and innovative nature of the work you are doing.”
Rebecca and Susan Grace, matron for community and midwife-led unit, will attend an awards ceremony on 7 February when the winners will be announced.
Basildon Hospital’s maternity services have also won praise from the Maternity and Midwifery Forum, a professional development organisation. Rebecca Tranter and fellow Midwife Joanne Hoare are finalists in the 2018 innovation award category, which will be judged on 13 February.
Rebecca has been shortlisted for her work establishing developing Maternity Direct Plus, and Joanne Hoare is in line for an award for her work in launching a support and information service for pregnant women with diabetes.
Educating Gestational Diabetes sessions (EGGS) were launched in April 2016. Feedback from women attending is very positive, with 97% saying they understand how to monitor their blood sugar and eat healthily, and that they feel more confident about managing their diabetes.