03 / 02 / 2009
NHS North East
The Maternity Unit at the Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle, is a regional tertiary centre caring for 4,700 women giving birth each year. With over 500 staff working full time and part time in a variety of shift patterns, it is virtually impossible to arrange briefing meetings where even half of the Unit team can be present.
In response to the problem of sharing information and knowledge across the whole team, a monthly newsletter has been developed to which all staff can contribute.
Content for the newsletter is compiled over the course of each month by the Head of Midwifery and her secretary. It includes practical operational information that all staff need to know, along with training session dates, NMC visits, a forum for professional issues, national issues and a social section. Recent editions have covered topics such as local implementation of guidance on ante-natal screening for Down Syndrome, explanation of the new telephone system, and using the case note tracking system. Information re staff i.e. starters, leavers births and marriages is also included.
The newsletter is distributed by email from which hard copies can be printed. Circulation is multi-disciplinary, including medical, nursing, midwifery and support staff. Trust managers and Northumbria University are also included in the circulation list. Feedback suggests recipients find it an interesting and useful insight into activity in the Unit.
In response to further concerns about communication among staff at a clinical level, the Unit has also introduced a feedback system. Comment forms are distributed by a staff midwife every 2 to 3 months for staff to raise issues that affect their work. The collection of forms is independent of Unit management. Initially all forms were treated anonymously but as the system has been seen to produce results, staff are now happy to put their names to the comments they make.
For further information please contact Jane Herve, Head of Midwifery