Training techniques at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital maternity ward to be rolled out nationally

Dr Ed Prosser-Snelling and Dr Sophia Ansari. Photo: NNUH

Dr Ed Prosser-Snelling and Dr Sophia Ansari. Photo: NNUH - Credit: NNUH

Training and teaching methods used at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital's (NNUH) maternity department will be shared as best practice as part of a national campaign to improve safety.

Earlier this year, a team from the maternity department at NNUH were awarded almost £80,000 by the Department for Health to provide enhanced staff training in 'human factors'.

This looks at better understanding people's behaviour, and their interactions with people and their environment. For staff at the hospital, this has meant taking part in structured teaching sessions and real-life simulations on the labour ward.

Dr Sophia Ansari, clinical simulation fellow at NNUH, said: 'Over the course of the project we have been using a combination of classroom-based teaching as well as advanced simulation techniques. This has enabled our teams to develop advanced team working, communication and decision-making skills, all of which help to make patient experience on our labour ward even better.'

Dr Ed Prosser-Snelling is a specialist registrar at NNUH and project lead. He said: 'We have used the funding from the Secretary of State's Maternity Safety Training Fund to launch this programme of team working improvement at NNUH. It's great that our work has been recognised in this way.'

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Close links with the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) have meant that the innovative practices at NNUH have been nationally recognised and earlier this year RCOG approached NNUH to commission a video and training package which could be rolled out in maternity units across the country. The launch of the training video also runs in parallel with RCOG's national quality improvement programme Each Baby Counts, which aims to reduce the number of babies who die or suffer complications during labour.

Richard Smith, chief of service for maternity, said: 'We are proud to be at the forefront of advancements in clinical techniques and treatments; the training programme which has been delivered within our maternity teams is a fantastic example of this. Our next steps will be to realise the translatable benefits that these techniques will have for other teams and patients across the hospital.'

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