WEST Midlands Ambulance Service unveiled five new state-of-the-art VICTORIA childbirth simulator mannequins at the trust’s first ever Maternity Roadshow.
Unlike other maternity mannequins, these simulators are the only ones on the market that can birth a simulated baby by itself and integrates with the trust’s Zoll Series monitor/defibrillator, which allows real-time monitoring of blood pressure, blood oxygen levels, respiratory rate and heart rate of the mother.
Additionally, VICTORIA provides ambulance staff with true-to-life clinical experiences and the most realistic scenarios possible when it comes to maternity patients.
As well as a simulation station, where there will be live demonstrations and a chance to try out the new equipment, there was open workshops and talks from guest speakers from a wide range of professions including neonatologists, obstetricians, midwives, and pre-hospital doctors.
WMAS maternity lead, Steph Henry, said: “The mannequins are incredible pieces of equipment that will undoubtedly help improve the confidence and competency of our staff when attending obstetric emergencies.”
She added the service was very privileged to have secured talks from specialists for the roadshow and she hoped the staff who attended would gain a lot from it, giving them more confidence when providing pre-hospital maternity care.”
The roadshow is part of a Maternity Month being hosted by the trust throughout October. It includes a range of continuous practice development (CPD) activities aimed at improving the knowledge and confidence of ambulance clinicians when providing pre-hospital maternity care.
Improving maternity care
The Roadshow is the latest step made by the trust on its journey to improving the level of maternity care provided following the death of newborn baby Kate Stanton-Davies in March 2009.
Following this tragic incident, WMAS undertook a full review of the maternity care it provides, which included significant consultation with Kate’s parents, Rhiannon Davies and Richard Stanton.
That engagement allowed the trust to understand more about Kate, Rhiannon and Richard’s situation so practical steps could be taken to improve the service provided to patients.
Following the engagement and review, significant improvements have continued to be made including the introduction of Maternity Champions on each of West Midlands Ambulance Service’s 14 hubs.
This has increased the quality and number of maternity training sessions available and ambulance clinicians being given the opportunity to shadow shifts in maternity units to gain first-hand experience.
Two quality improvement projects were put in a place a few years ago – one seeing cuddle pockets introduced for the safe transportation of miscarried babies whilst the second involves transwarmer mattresses being introduced on ambulances, with the aim of reducing the number of babies born before arrival at hospital developing hypothermia.
Questions needed answering
Ms Davies and Mr Stanton said: “Following our catastrophic experience in 2009 and the death of our daughter Kate, we struggled to have the many questions we had relating to her care answered.
“It wasn’t until after Kate’s inquest in 2012, when the failings were laid bare, that WMAS Chief Executive, Anthony Marsh, got in touch.
“Although WMAS’ actions were in no way contributory to Kate’s avoidable death, he was genuinely appalled at what had befallen us as a family and wanted to learn all lessons he possibly could to ensure no other family went what we went through.
“Mr Marsh has continued to listen to us, to engage with us, to take our ideas forward and advance the care his paramedics are able to offer.
“We are proud of each of the changes we have influenced on behalf of Kate.
“And we are equally proud of the entire WMAS family for being committed to advancing their learning and for the continuous improvements they just keep on making.
“It is our privilege to be invited to continue to support the Mr Marsh and all WMAS colleagues as they lead the country in the training of ambulance staff in maternity care.”