A new app, Maternity Direct, will mean mums-to-be across Mid and South Essex will have greater peace of mind in between their scheduled midwife appointments.
Basildon Hospital has launched Maternity Direct, a free, secure, web-based app that connects mums-to-be with an NHS midwife. This is the first app to interactively connect registered NHS midwives with pregnant women for secure instant messaging chats.
The app was developed after the Trust found that women had many questions regarding their pregnancy between scheduled midwife appointments. Feedback from women found that searching online did not instill confidence, and some felt uncomfortable contacting their midwife or the maternity unit with non-urgent questions.
Set up for non-urgent enquiries, the app provides access to up-to-date, evidence-based information and advice. Mums-to-be who have registered with Basildon Hospital for their maternity care can access the chat function of the app, and a record of their chat will be available on the woman’s phone and stored in the Trust’s secure patient record.
The main aims of the app are to improve communication for women whilst reducing the number of unnecessary phone calls, hospital attendances, and GP appointments for non-urgent issues. Midwives can support more than one “chat message” at a time, compared with the time taken on standard telephone calls. A “midwife group chat” will also provide assurance and support.
An in-app appointment calendar offers reminders of upcoming maternity related hospital appointments to help reduce the number of missed appointments.
The Trust partnered with software developer Acadiant Limited to create Maternity Direct.
To view the app please go to https://maternitydirect.btuh.nhs.uk/