A mobile app has been created to allow pregnant women to talk to an NHS midwife in between appointments.
The app Maternity Direct, which has been launched at Basildon Hospital in Essex, lets women speak to a registered NHS midwife about non-urgent concerns throughout their pregnancy.
The app was developed by the hospital in partnership with Acadiant Limited after feedback showed many pregnant women felt uncomfortable contacting their midwife outside of antenatal appointments.
It is believed to be the first app to connect NHS midwives with women through instant messaging.
Speaking to the Nursing Times, Head of Midwifery, Nursing and Quality as Basildon hospital, Lesley Overy, said: “This app is a fantastic step forward to helping provide women with greater confidence during their pregnancy.
“With up-to-date information and a midwife to hand, women can access non-urgent support and advice when they need it. The need to organise non-urgent appointments may also be reduced, saving women time whilst protecting our appointments for those women who require closer monitoring.”
Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which is working towards merging with Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust and Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, came up with the idea of the app in response to the Better Births recommendations.
The Maternity Direct app will be extended to other hospitals within the next year.
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