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Unique training package will improve safety in low-risk labour

water birth image

A new national training programme created in the Oxford AHSN region aims to improve safety for low-risk mothers and babies during labour and birth.

The interactive e-learning package is the first to integrate real fetal heart sounds, helping midwives provide safer care when they monitor a baby’s heartbeat in the womb. This approach will benefit tens of thousands of low-risk pregnant women across the country who receive midwife-led care every year – approximately one in three pregnancies.

It is the only training package that assesses competency in intermittent auscultation to meet the requirements of the Saving Babies’ Lives version 2 care bundle for reducing perinatal mortality. Improving knowledge and skills improves safety for mother and baby by ensuring midwives are better able to identify abnormalities in the fetal heart rate pattern and/or changes in the mother’s level of risk and take prompt action.

Wendy Randall and Christine HardingThis training was the brainchild of consultant midwives Christine Harding (Royal Berkshire, right) and Wendy Randall (Oxford University Hospitals). They worked with patient safety and maternity experts at the Oxford AHSN to develop the programme. Health Education England (HEE) provided additional support and now the package, which takes about an hour to complete, is about to be launched on the HEE e-LfH hub.

It has already received national recognition including winning the Contribution to Midwifery Education at The British Journal of Midwifery Practice Awards and judged the top poster submission at the National Maternity and Perinatal Audit/Each Baby Counts conference, both in 2019.

Christine and Wendy are leading online masterclass webinars on 13/20 January explaining more about the intelligent intermittent auscultation package (IIA) prior to the launch of the training programme. These sessions are particularly designed for practice development midwives.

Further information: eileen.dudley@oxfordahsn.org

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