Black Country maternity teams are the first in the region to roll out a digital platform to engage with frontline staff and use their feedback to improve patient experience.

The Black Country Local Maternity and Neonatal System has struck a three-year partnership with ImproveWell. The ImproveWell platform will now be used in maternity services at The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust, The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust and Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust.

The platform is designed to help NHS organisations tailor the way they collect real-time frontline feedback, as well as supporting them to quickly identify areas for improvement, and suggested solutions based on needs at a local or organisational level. ImproveWell has previously formed a Knowledge Transfer Partnership with Bournemouth University to develop AI models for the platform. 

Although it has previously been deployed in more than 70 NHS organisations – including 18 maternity team – this is the first time that maternity teams across the same region are collectively deploying the solution. This collaborative effort will help to drive improvement in the region, enhancing staff experiences and the quality of service delivery.

It is hoped that the ImproveWell platform will help local teams make immediate improvements and develop their own, new systems to continuously drive improvements for the future. 

Gemma Haselgrove, lead retention midwife at Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “I have also started doing all exit interviews and stay conversations using ImproveWell and generated trends from this.”

She continued: “Preceptorship and support have been highlighted as a trend. We are working towards aligning length of preceptorship with our Black Country colleagues and are working on ways to improve the support we provide. I think ImproveWell has helped us to engage in a more effective and meaningful way.” 

Suggestions for change are captured from employees at all levels. In addition, 80 percent of the ideas put forward through the platform require no or little funding to implement.

Lara Mott, CEO and co-founder of ImproveWell, said: “Frontline NHS workers across the country are feeling overstretched and disengaged, but they often also have the best ideas to improve safety and patient experience. When staff see their ideas implemented and they succeed, it makes the NHS a more satisfying place to work. 

“These maternity teams across the Black Country have committed to proactively listening to ideas from their staff, helping to capture plenty of ‘small but mighty’ changes that are easily implemented and make a big difference. We look forward to working with the Black Country teams to unlock these innovative frontline insights and improve the experience for staff and patients across the region.” 

This summer the NHS Black Country Integrated Care Board is also set to roll out ImproveWell across its Emergency Departments in its hospitals.