The first baby born using entirely digital maternity notes in north Cumbria has been born at West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven.
The new digital system replaces the traditional paper based system with notes being held digitally for staff and linking to a phone app so women no longer need to carry their notes to appointments.
The app which expectant and new mothers can use is called ‘Maternity Notes’ and available to download to a smartphone or tablet via the Apple app store or the Google play store. It 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, digitial midwife at North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust who helped develop the app, said: “We were thrilled to have our first ‘digital notes’ baby born at West Cumberland Hospital. The staff on the ward have done fantastically well with the new system and have embraced the technology.
“We’ve had a lot of lovely feedback from the women who have already registered during pregnancy and I can’t wait for more babies to be born and have their details on the new system.”
Women who have a smartphone but no data can use NHS WiFi at local GPs, hospitals etc. 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.
Jane Anderson, head of midwifery, added: “All of the staff have really taken to using the new system and their enthusiasm has been wonderful to see.
“There has been a lot of work gone into introducing the new system and it is fantastic for mothers and our staff, especially given the unique, rural area our hospitals cover.”
Since going live on 1 April, 100% of women registering a new pregnancy have signed up to the app.
North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust is one of only 14 Trusts across the country to implement electronic maternity notes.