Women registering their pregnancy in Cumbria are now some of the first across the country to have access to electronic maternity notes, all via an app.
The app, which is called ‘Maternity Notes’ and is available to download to a smartphone or tablet, helps women track their pregnancy journey, keep a note of their ante-natal appointments and upload photos of themselves, their bump and eventually their baby. It also contains lots of information about baby’s development as they move through their pregnancy, and up to six weeks post-birth. The new system is safer too, with women no longer needing to carry paper maternity notes.
Julie Haigh, Digital Midwife for NCUH who helped develop the app, said: “I’m thrilled with how well electronic maternity notes have been received. The teams have worked hard to implement a new system that will benefit so many women across the county, and the community midwives are excited to continue the rollout. We’ve had a lot of lovely feedback from the women who have already registered, and I can’t wait to see how this will be developed in the future.”
Even women who have a smartphone but no data can use NHS WiFi at local GPs, hospitals and the like to access ‘Maternity Notes’ and, for those who don’t have a smartphone, the app can accessed on the website on home PCs or at their local library.
Since going live on 1 April, 100% of women registering a new pregnancy have signed up to the app through www.ncuh.nhs.uk/maternitybooking.
Marie Scougal is the mother of a 16 month old girl and currently 19 weeks pregnant with baby number two. Having had experience of a pregnancy with the paper notes and now the digital app she was keen to share her experience and encourages everyone to use the technology:
“As a mum of a 16 month and now expecting again due in October the whole process of the pregnancy journey is an exciting one.
“My first experience of the ‘Green notes’ was a complex one, the Midwife took time to make sure all the ticks were in the right place, the dates were all in the back cross referenced all the time to the computer and then being reassured by me that the details were correct. As soon as this was complete, I would transfer everything to the diary, my husband’s diary and to my phone to set an alarm a few days before any appointments to make sure my baby brain didn’t forget!
“I had to remember to take them to all my appointment whether that was the midwife the doctors or a hospital appointment. Now as a woman who loves a good ‘to do list’ (the classic pen on paper) I embraced these magical paper notes but often forgot where I had put them in the house, I remember being really organized one day only to go and leave them in the car at the hospital car park!
“So roll on to baby number two and on my first midwife appointment they introduced the new NHS App.
“I was a little terrified! ‘Oh no a gadget, I’m rubbish with gadgets!’
“The midwife explained that they would go through it all with me, asking all the same questions that were asked for the green notes but now conveniently they were on an IPad. It allowed everything to be stored at the touch of a button, contain all my medical history, test results and the winning part…send me texts to remind me when my upcoming appointments!
“As someone who has become conscious of environmental issues, the thought of how paper this must save is a massive plus too.
“All I would need to do after I had downloaded it to my phone was reset the security pass number to one that only I would remember. The process was so simple it took minutes and it was all secure and there you have it; my personal information all at the touch of a button.
“We use so many social media platforms and we all post things not thinking about how safe the pictures or information might be, they are just out there in the world. I think they have thought so much about the security aspect of this app though. In fact no one can access the information stored but the medical professionals and you.
“Not long after I downloaded it I received a phone call from the lovely midwife whose responsibility it was to make sure the app was complete by all new mums. She took time to go through the steps and left her details if I had any teething issues with the app. I was very reassured.
“To anyone not sure I say, embrace the change! I now look forward to telling this little bump how all their information was already in a personalised app, now how cool is that?”