University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust has successfully bid for national funding that will now mean patients have access to digital maternity services across the whole trust.
UHSussex has been awarded £881,023 of NHS money, one of 128 successful bids that will see Trust’s across the county improve their infrastructure, technology systems and connectivity.
The Trust currently uses a maternity information system that is only available in hospitals in the east of the county, but the funding means it will now be available across all of the maternity services at Sussex, leading to better access to maternity records by staff caring for people.
The system also provides an app which allows people to directly access their records from their own hand held device, making information more easily available and helping patients become more involved in decisions about their care. This has proved really popular with people using the service and staff.
The money will also enable UHSussex to replace their current foetal monitoring system with state of the art machines, which will decrease the time needed for foetal monitoring and will improve the experience for people using the service.
A central monitoring system will also be installed on all four sites – Worthing Hospital; St Richards, in Chichester, Princess Royal Hospital, in Haywards Heath; Royal Sussex County Hospital, in Brighton – meaning less interruption to women in labour, improved consistency of decision making and increased teaching opportunities.
The money will also provide an app for women and people diagnosed with diabetes in pregnancy. This will ensure they are able to track and store the results of their blood glucose monitoring, which can then be securely shared with their care team allowing for timely advice and treatment.
Emma Chambers, Director of Midwifery at UHSussex, said: “University Hospitals Sussex maternity services are delighted to have received funding from NHS Digital to fund three exciting projects which will improve the quality of our services and experience for the users of our services.
“Digital innovation is essential in modern maternity services and we are excited about the progress this funding will enable.”
Dr Peter-Marc Fortune, Clinical SRO, NHSEI, Digital Child Health and Maternity Programme said: “We have seen some excellent examples of regional and local collaboration in the bids received. We want funds to be used for maximum impact and to address some of the inequalities at local level.”
Jules Gudgeon, National Digital Midwife Lead for Maternity, NHSEI, added: “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.”