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Unique training package will improve safety in low-risk labour


A new national training programme aims to improve safety for low-risk mothers and babies during labour and birth.

The interactive e-Learning package, created in the region covered by Oxford Academic Health Science Network (AHSN), is the first to integrate real fetal heart sounds, helping midwives provide safer care when they monitor a baby's heartbeat in the womb. 

This approach will benefit the tens of thousands of low-risk pregnant women across the country receiving midwife-led care every year - approximately one in three pregnancies.

Improving the knowledge and skills of midwives improves safety for both mother and baby, by ensuring they are better able to identify abnormalities in the baby's heart rate and/or changes in the mother's level of risk, and take prompt action.

This training was the brainchild of Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Consultant Midwife, Wendy Randall, and Christine Harding from Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust, who worked with patient safety and maternity experts at Oxford AHSN to develop the programme. 

Health Education England (HEE) provided additional support, and now the package, which takes about an hour to complete, will be launched on their e-Learning for Healthcare (e-LfH) system.

It has been endorsed by the Royal College of Midwives and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, and has already received national recognition, including winning the Contribution to Midwifery Education at the British Journal of Midwifery Practice Awards in 2019.