A midwife from Cumbria has been presented with an award sponsored by the Innovation Agency.Julie Haigh.jpg

Julie Haigh from North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust was among winners at the North West Skills Development Network’s Informatics Awards, part of the Connect 2019 conference showcasing pioneering work in digital health.

When the trust committed to introducing a new, digital patient portal for their maternity services, Julie was appointed as the project team’s ‘Digital Midwife’. She joined a team of digital experts, providing an invaluable link with service users.

By empathising with the patient’s perspective, Julie helped ensure new systems were fit for purpose and easy to use, and persuaded clinicians of the benefits of the service, helping them learn how to use it.

The new service enables women to register their pregnancy via a website and download an app to access appointment information, help and guidance and other services. 100 per cent of women within the trust have consented to using the app, and 94 per cent of women are actively using it – the highest uptake of such a service in the country.

Julie said: “This has been the opportunity of a lifetime to be a bridge between the clinical and technology. I have been able to step outside the day-to-day and really look at how technology can not only support but improve care. I have learned a whole new language and have been privileged to see another side to the behind-the-scenes work that keeps the NHS cogs turning. None of this would have been possible without the team around me but most of all the women and midwives who make this digital record the success it is.  We still have work to do as nothing is perfect but we are making great progress.” 

The Innovation Agency’s Director of Digital Alan Davies said: “These awards celebrate both innovation and collaboration in health and care systems in our region. England’s North West has a vibrant, sharing digital learning and skills development culture embedding the best home grown and procured digital enabling solutions, and the examples we’ve seen at these awards demonstrate the impact that pioneering solutions are having on the quality of care for our patients and the efficiency of our health services. I congratulate all our finalists, each of whom are exemplars of best practice in their fields.”

Other Informatics Awards winners were:

  • Best Improvement in Patient Safety Award – ‘Paperless transfusion instruction and delivery’, The Christie NHS Foundation Trust
  • Clinician in Informatics – Julie Haigh, North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust
  • Collaboration Award – ‘High intensity user dashboard’, Wirral Health and Care Commissioning, Wirral Community Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust and Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Apprentice of the Year – Oluchi Ogbonna, NHS Liverpool CCG
  • Innovation Award – ‘Remote end-of-life care’, Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Trinity Hospice
  • Team of the Year Award – Clinical Coding Team, East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust

Connect 2019 welcomed speakers from North West NHS organisations, showcasing the excellent projects being undertaken in the region, as well as keynote speakers Dr Paul Rice PhD, Director of Digital Transformation NHSDE/NHSI North East and Yorkshire; Dr Victoria Betton, Managing Director mHabitat; Patrick Mitchell, Director of Innovation and Transformation Health Education England; and John Volanthen, Specialist Cave Diver.

Held at the Grand Hotel Blackpool, this year’s conference was opened by John Glover, CIO Bay Health and Care Partners and Chair of the ISD Strategy Group, and welcomed 270 delegates. Main sponsors for 2019 were Allscripts and the System C and Graphnet Care Alliance.

The Informatics Awards were sponsored by: Estio Training, Fed-IP, Hartree Centre (Science and Technology Facilities Council), Health Education England, the Innovation Agency, The Utilisation Management Unit and Unsung Hero Awards.

Photo caption: Clinician of the Year - Ginette Nurney, NHS Digital, with Julie Haigh

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