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National recognition for safety project

st mary'sA maternity safety project at Poole Hospital has been named a finalist in the patient safety improvement category of the national Nursing Times magazine awards.

‘Spotlight on safety’ encompasses a range of initiatives helping to keep women and babies safer and healthier.

These include the introduction of a midwife with specific responsibility for reducing smoking rates for mums-to-be in pregnancy. Smoking when pregnant is known to reduce a baby’s development in the womb and increases the risk of still birth.

In this role, Heidi Croucher ensures all women are offered information on the harm smoking causes and advice on stopping smoking. Since Heidi took up the role in 2015, she has nearly halved the number of mums-to-be who smoke, from 13 per cent to just 7 per cent, one of the lowest rates in the region.

The maternity unit has also adopted the Saving Babies Lives programme, one of only two in the region to do so. Saving Babies Lives encourages better monitoring of the foetus’ activity and development in the womb, awareness in mums-to-be of their baby’s movement in the womb, as well as the importance of quitting smoking while pregnant.

Sandra Chitty, head of midwifery, said being announced as finalists in the awards was a great way of celebrating the maternity team’s achievements.

“Spotlight on safety is a great way of focussing all staff at the maternity unit on all things safety,” she said.

“Our view is that there is no single answer to improving safety and health, which is why we introduced a broad programme of safety initiatives.

“I’m delighted with this recognition – our shortlisting represents a real team approach to safety.”

The Nursing Times Awards has had a record-breaking year for entries and the judges were extremely impressed with the high standard.

The shortlisted organisations will now complete presentations and interviews to a specific judging panel made up of senior and influential figures from the health sector.

The Nursing Times, the leading weekly magazine for nurses in the UK, established the annual award scheme to recognise excellence in nursing and midwifery care.

Jenni Middleton, editor of Nursing Times, said: “The Nursing Times Awards gives us an opportunity each year to see outstanding quality improvement projects from nurses and the teams they work with.

 “Across the board in all clinical areas and care settings – from the community to hospitals to care homes and beyond, we see nurses challenging the status quo and working hard to provide better quality, safer care and a better experience for those who use their services.

“The Nursing Times Awards is truly a celebration of their hard work, drive and talent.”

The awards will be held on 2 November at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London.

Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Longfleet Road, Poole, Dorset BH15 2JB. Tel: 01202 665511

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