Kettering General Hospital has been granted almost £400,000 to improve its maternity services from national modernisation funds.
It has won £200,000 from the Department of Health’s Improving Maternity Care Settings Fund to upgrade the bathrooms and showers in its maternity ward and to provide en-suite bathrooms in its labour suite.
And it will receive £195,127 from the NHS England Nursing Technology Fund to introduce a new information technology system that will give midwives, doctors – and families – a much better, and more up-to-the-minute, overview of all of their health care so far.
The maternity refurbishment works will begin in late spring/early summer and will take several months.
The new technology will be up and running by August 2014.
Head of Midwifery and Nursing Eilish Crowson said: “We are delighted that our bids to these two improvement funds have been successful and the resulting investment will bring some significant benefits for local families using our maternity services.
“While new mums and their families very much appreciate the care they get from our midwifery team we know from user feedback that our facilities let us down.
“While we make sure everything is clean and tidy our maternity and labour wards are dated and definitely not as modern as we would like them to be.”
The £200,000 from the Department of Health’s Improving Maternity Care Settings Fund will be used to upgrade the hospital’s 33-bed maternity ward – Rowan Ward - with:
O New shower rooms and a bathroom with disability access
O Refurbished toilets and washbasins with improved windows to create more natural light
The Labour suite will receive, depending on more detailed costing work, en suite bathroom facilities in two or three labour rooms.
The trust already has en suite facilities in three labour rooms but at the moment the other three have adjoining facilities.
Eilish said: “This will be a major improvement to the bathroom, toilet and shower facilities in the maternity unit and will make them much more modern, and private, enabling a better experience of our service.”
The £195,127 bid to the Nursing Technology Fund will enable the hospital to set up a secure software system that will be able to be accessed by laptop computers.
This will enable basic details of a mum’s care journey to be kept electronically so that midwives, or doctors, can see exactly what has happened in each individual case so far.
Eilish said: “Within the hospital midwives on the ward areas will have a secure laptop on a trolley which they can take to mum’s bedside and input things like daily reviews, medication, or discharge information, directly into the electronic system.
“They can also see the previous results in these areas. The new system will mean our community midwives will be able to take a secure laptop and printer with them when they see women at home or in a community setting.
“They will be able to print off the visit summary so that mums have a hard copy of the visit, instantly, to go into their copy of their notes.
“Overall this will mean both midwives – and local families – will have very up-to-date information about the care being provided by the hospital and it will make it much easier for midwives to answer questions that families may ask of them.
“It will also help us to reduce duplication of effort – eg writing something down first and then later inputting it into a computer – which will help us to free up more staff time for caring for people.”