Identifying deteriorating pregnant women is at the heart of training at Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust (NLaG).
The Trust is the first in the region and North of England to have piloted an obstetric ALERT course, which stands for ‘Acute and Life Threatening Events: Recognition and Treatment’. It brings clinical staff including anaesthetists, obstetricians, midwives and other professionals involved in childbirth together for training in identifying and preventing mums-to-be from becoming critically ill.
The one-day course was piloted internally with NLaG aiming to roll it out to external organisations in the future. The ALERT course is nationally recognised and includes both theoretical and practical exercises covering different patient scenarios that staff may come across.
Laura Walton, midwife, attended the pilot, she said: “I found it really interesting working through various scenarios. What really makes this course beneficial is having clinical staff of various levels and jobs within the women and children service training together, all singing from the same hymn sheet. It will really help when the training becomes reality.”
Pat Crawshaw, Trust midwife, said: “This obstetric ALERT course is great as it broadens your current knowledge and helps to gain a clearer understanding of what we should be looking for in a deteriorating patient.”
Heather Gallagher, operational matron in obstetrics and gynaecology, said: “The benefits of the training are that midwives and other professionals involved in caring for women in childbirth have advanced skills in recognising the deterioration in pregnant and recently delivered mums, and are trained to implement early interventions to either prevent further deterioration or critical illness.
“As the course is multi-disciplinary it fosters improved team working. This is important as in reality these cases are uncommon but the team need to work effectively and closely when they do arise.
“The pilot was very successful and the feedback from staff who took part was extremely positive.”