Expectant mums have now had potential waiting times for scans cut by up to an hour and a half thanks to a new policy at Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust.
Sonographers can now directly discharge pregnant women who had a normal growth scan result when referred by their community midwife.
The collaboration between the Imaging team and the Antenatal clinic also saves midwives time in needing to see these patients after scans.
Antenatal Clinic Manager Donna Perkins and Professional Lead for Ultrasound and Deputy Professional Lead for Imaging Hayley Whitehouse introduced the idea, which has now been embedded in the Trust’s policies for staff to follow.
“If a community midwife is concerned about the baby’s growth, the patient is sent for a scan. If this scan is normal, we previously would have sent the patient back to the waiting room to be reviewed by a midwife, to be discharged, however this new process allows us to remove this extra step,” explained Hayley.
“Now, if the scan demonstrates normal growth, and the patient has no concerns, we can discharge the patient home straightaway, thereby reducing their wait time.
“We will continue to encourage mums-to-be to ask to speak to a midwife before they leave if they have concerns.
“This new process is a little thing but it’s making a big difference to our mums-to-be because before they were sometimes waiting up to an hour and a half to be reviewed before discharge.
“If there are concerns on the scan, we will continue to ensure that mums-to-be are see by the medical team in the clinic. This is to ensure we continue to maintain the safety of mother and baby.
“The service is now streamlined more for what we need and we are very proud of it.”
Mum Shalene Thompson, 35, of The Butts, Walsall, who is 28 weeks pregnant, is expecting her fifth child.
Shalene, who works as an early years educator at a children’s nursery, was one of the first to benefit from the new service after her community midwife referred her because her baby was measuring smaller than normal.
“I think it’s a great idea,” said Shalene, whose four children aged between 11 and 17 were all born at the Manor Hospital. “If I can be told straight away that I’m OK then it’s better than staying in the waiting room.
“Once I was scanned, Hayley told me it had come back fine then she plotted the baby’s growth and told me I could go home.
“It’s great because previously, two of my children required scans, and I had to wait for an hour for each, only to be told everything was OK.”