The NHS trust that provides maternity services throughout north east Essex has successfully bid for £80,000 from a national training fund.
Most of the money (£57,000) has been invested by Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust on a hi-tech manikin which will be used to train multidisciplinary teams on how best to respond in obstetric and neonatal emergencies.
Called SimMom, the manikin will be used to train a range of health professionals, including midwives, critical care nurses, obstetricians and anaesthetists in situations such as a breech birth, shoulder dystocia, sepsis, postpartum haemorrhage and collapse.
The Trust was awarded £80,000 after applying to Health Education England’s (HEE) Maternity Safety Training Fund.
The application was made on behalf of the Trust by Tracy Baxter, specialist midwife with responsibility for training and development for maternity services.
“Learning to make quick decisions when training allows the team to respond quickly in real life emergencies” she said.
“There is a large body of evidence to show that multidisciplinary teams that train together work well as a team in real life, and achieve better clinical outcomes.
“SimMom is an advanced full body birthing simulator that provides realistic real-time training for teams – for example, SimMom can simulate a normal birth process and also allow professionals to practise realistic scenarios for emergency drills such as postpartum haemorrhage and eclampsia.”
The manikin is manufactured by Laerdal, the Norwegian company which launched its famous Resusci Anne in 1960. The Trust already uses another of its hi-tech manikins, called SimMan.
Eight people from the Trust, including Miss Baxter, will be trained on how to run training sessions using SimMom.
While most of the staff who will use it for training will be employed by the Trust, she is hoping it may also be of interest to paramedics employed by the East Anglian Ambulance Service as well as medical and midwifery students.
In addition, Miss Baxter plans to take SimMom to the maternity unit the Trust runs at Clacton Hospital and to run training exercises on it at the home so that health professionals can practise the skills they would need in a home birth emergency.
The remaining £23,000 from the £80,000 award will be spent by the Trust to provide training courses, such as in using CTG (cardiotocography) machines, which monitor babies for any signs of distress both before birth (antenatally) and during labour by measuring their heart rate.
HEE’s Maternity Safety Training Fund has distributed a total of £8m across all NHS trusts with maternity services in England to deliver training to improve maternity safety.
Lisa Bayliss-Pratt, HEE Director of Nursing, said: “Trusts were invited to apply for funding in 2016 and the response from service providers and partners in applying to make maternity services safer through education and funding has been brilliant.”