Midwives who led the creation of two innovative services for pregnant women at Basildon University Hospital have been shortlisted for national awards.
A social media advice service has been shortlisted in the British Journal of Midwifery (BJM) 2018 Practice Awards, under the ‘use of technology in midwifery’ category.
Maternity Direct Plus was created and launched in November 2015 by Rebecca Tranter, midwife, to provide prompt and personal responses from midwives to women who have non-urgent queries about their pregnancy. The service is available from 7am to 9pm every day of the week, except bank holidays, for women in the Basildon and Thurrock area.
As well as posting daily information and advice on topics such as pre-conceptual care, the Maternity Direct Plus midwives answer queries from pregnant women via private messaging.
The service currently has 4,500 followers and responds to up to 30 messages each day. About 70% of queries are dealt with on the spot by the midwives – the rest may be
referred to other services such as the woman’s GP or the gynaecology referral unit in the hospital. It is very popular with users, with more than 60 five-star online reviews and a high volume of positive and appreciative feedback.