Students guided by midwives are ensuring mothers and their babies receive the best care have achieved a regional first for Walsall Manor Hospital.
Collaborative Learning in Practice Placement (CLiPP) is a coaching model which enables students to lead delivery of care in a patient bay independently.
They are observed and coached by a midwife or senior nurse who is in charge and responsible for the area to ensure a support net is available throughout the experience.
The scheme is currently being trialled over three weeks on Primrose Ward in Maternity, where 14 student midwives are currently participating.
Already operating on Wards 1, 2, 7 10, 11, 29 and the Acute Medical Unit at the Manor, it is believed to be the first maternity unit in the Black Country and West Birmingham area – and one of the first in the country – to permanently implement CLiPP.
Under the CLiPP model, a midwife is responsible for a group of four or five students, one of which is the student lead, usually a third year student who is coming towards the end of her training.
Clinical Academy Link Tutor Helen Haden is helping train the next generation of midwives after two decades as one herself.
She said: “We want to increase the numbers of student midwives at Walsall along with the quality of their student journey and one way of doing this is via CLiPP.
“Instead of the one-to-one registrant student model, we have a senior student who takes the lead and delegates to the other students in the team, all under the supervision of one midwife.
“The students also have protected built-in feedback and teaching time during the day and the mums love it because they have small group of staff looking after them.
“In turn, the staff get to know the patient really well and either myself or another member from the Faculty of Research and Clinical Education (FORCE) will be on the ward to support.”
Mum Aliyah Miah, 24, delivered baby Casper on Monday 7 February and was one of the first beneficiaries of the care – and he got into the spirit too by donning a CLiPP baby grow. She said: “The student midwives have been really attentive.
“I can be quite awkward myself at times but with so many women present, they make you feel comfortable and I feel there’s enough care and support around me.”
Student lead for the day Elsa Longmore said: “I was quite looking forward to this because it’s different and new and I think it works quite well. It’s a learning curve but it’s good that we’ve got control of the bay. It’s reassuring for the mums as well that we are so visible.
“With a high number of student midwives caring for the mums we have that extra support we need, and when we need that extra helping hand it’s there for us with the midwife.”
Statistics show capacity has increased by 75 per cent on wards where CLiPP has been used, while positive feedback through the Patient Experience Team is better and use of intravenous fluids has decreased.
Helen added: “Patients have commented already that it has improved their mental health because there’s always someone to talk to.”
CLiPP has been adapted in the UK after it originated in Amsterdam. It is distinct from the traditional mentorship model in both the way practice learning is organised and in the philosophy that underpins how students learn.
If any managers or team leaders are interested in using CLiPP, they should contact the FORCE team by emailing email@example.com for further information.