The value of coming together with MatNeo colleagues

Bea Chubb is a Midwife at Yeovil District Hospital and is currently on secondment to the West of England AHSN project managing local delivery of the Maternity and Neonatal Safety Improvement Programme (known as MatNeoSIP).

In this blog, Bea tells us what she’s learnt during her time at the AHSN and how valuable it is for MatNeo teams to join the AHSN and peers at MatNeo Patient Safety Network (PSN) meetings. Bea also tells us what’s on the agenda for the next meeting on 24 May…

I feel I am in a very fortunate position to be working clinically as a midwife alongside my secondment as a Senior Project Manager with the West of England AHSN. It has made me look with fresh perspective at the impact of Quality Improvement (QI) projects on Maternity and Neonatal care, such as with the hugely successful PERIPrem project. The data collected for PERIPrem has never been ‘just numbers’ to any of the team involved, there is always an acute awareness that these are vulnerable pre-term babies and their families. However, it has been a truly life changing and unique experience for me to provide care for ‘PERIPrem babies’ and meet their families on a clinical shift and the next day come to work in my AHSN role and analyse the data!

This balance between clinical and AHSN roles has also opened my eyes to the benefits of MatNeo PSN events. Despite working clinically as a midwife for ten years, it was only when I began my secondment that I discovered them – and I am so glad I have. I now talk about them to my clinical colleagues all the time – they offer so much in a few hours! These events are for all health care professionals (neonatal nurses, midwives, doctors etc) and students but also for women, birthing people and their families. The patient/parent voice is considered throughout and sharing a training/education space with parents is so important.

During a time where we have been unable to come together physically for conferences, and even if we could staffing doesn’t often allow for it, the virtual PSN events are a great resource and networking opportunity. Being able to register for them even if you cannot join on the day and receive the videos after the event is a brilliant resource for busy front-line staff.

I see the role of the PSN becoming more important in light of the latest Ockenden report, which, amongst its devastating findings, discusses the importance of teamworking, culture and staff development. While PSN’s are not strictly staff training, they do provide a platform for shared learning, address topics like culture and escalation and create a safe space for staff to have important discussions.

As we move forwards, exploring ways to improve maternity care after Ockenden, I see the PSN being able to play an ever-growing part in improving not just patient safety but also helping to address the psychological safety of staff. The topics covered very much reflect elements of Ockenden and as a team, when we are organising these events, we very much have at the forefront of our mind ‘what is useful for busy staff’, I ask myself ‘what topics do I want to hear about’ in my usual day job. Hopefully this is reflected in the exciting agenda that we have for our next morning event on the 24 May . We’ll be sharing innovation around managing maternity emergencies, updates on PERIPrem, we look at escalation and also feature discussions about Ockenden and how the MatNeoSIP can help support trusts implementing the Immediate and Essential Actions.

When I started my secondment with the AHSN I thought that being a midwife would help me meet the objectives of the post, I had not envisaged how much working with the AHSN – and what I would learn – would make me a better midwife, and now I want to share to make sure all midwives have the chance to get involved. As I enter the last couple of months of my secondment, I am grateful to my amazing colleagues for the learning and experiences. I am really excited for our last event together and to take all that I have learnt back into clinical practice and continue to spread the word about the PSN events.

Book your space at the 24 May Maternity and Neonatal Patient Safety Network.


Posted on April 25, 2022 by Bea Chubb, Senior Project Manager and Midwife, West of England AHSN

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