Midwives and doctors at Bradford Royal Infirmary will have their jobs enhanced following investment worth £346,000 in new technology.

The money will be used to buy hi-tech devices, among them tablets and computer software, to support doctors and midwives within the maternity department which handles 6,000 births a year.

Bradford Royal Infirmary
Bradford Royal Infirmary

Head of Midwifery, Julie Walker, said: “This investment is fantastic news as it will help us to transform the way we care for our patients both in the community and when they come to our hospital.

“The money will be spent on our ‘paperless midwife’ project which is enabling community staff to access and record women’s medical histories on handheld devices in a move away from handwritten notes.

“It will also mean that, at the touch of a button, women will have secure access to view their own medical notes wherever they are in the country – so it is a win-win situation which will improve the patient experience and has real benefits for everyone.”

Starting last month, Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust was one of the first hospitals in the country to introduce a paperless maternity service. It means thousands of  paper notes will be replaced with online records that can be viewed securely over the internet.

The Foundation Trust’s money, which has been secured from the NHS England’s Nursing Technology Fund, will go towards the purchase of 70 hand-held tablets for community midwives, 21 computers on wheels which allow ward-based midwives and doctors to record care electronically at the woman’s bedside, and six electronic screens which will display live data allowing doctors to access patient details in a secure area within each ward.

Bradford Royal Infirmary
Bradford Royal Infirmary

Director of Informatics, Cindy Fedell said: “Healthcare is changing rapidly and this kind of new, modern technology is part of the innovative and new ways of working that we are embracing in our drive to put patients first.

“Seventy per cent of pregnant women that we surveyed wanted to have direct, online access to their medical records and this project will deliver this service.

“For our staff who work on the go and now have instant, electronic access to a patient’s   medical history, it will ensure that they won’t need to make as many trips back to the office to collect and drop off paperwork.

“It will also help clinical staff on our wards deliver a quicker, more efficient service, while at the same time freeing everyone up to spend more time with the women, babies and families within their care.”