Transformation of Maternity Services
As our Maternity Service continues to care for women and birthing individuals with increasingly complex needs, the volume of referrals to specialist services has seen a significant rise, mirroring a national trend. However, the introduction of a digital maternity information system, while beneficial, created a substantial bottleneck in our workflows, which posed a clinical risk.
To address this challenge, Portsmouth Maternity Services embarked on an intelligent automation programme — pioneering efforts to harness the advantages of automation technology within clinical processes across the NHS.
This intelligent automation programme can be seamlessly applied across multiple systems, revolutionising appointment administration and creation, referral management, emergency alerts, caseload management, and community clinic oversight. The outcomes have been nothing short of remarkable: patient appointment capacity has surged by 33%, while appointment booking wait times have plummeted from 6-8 weeks to just 24 hours.
When considering the well-being of the NHS, we are thrilled to report that approximately 18,000 staff hours will be saved annually. This remarkable achievement is equivalent to the workload of 12 full-time employees, resulting in a cost-saving of £225,000 in internal staffing expenses. Furthermore, we've successfully avoided £105,000 in external outsourcing costs for maternity scanning.
Below, we invite you to delve deeper into the ways your Trust can enhance its Pathways through the implementation of Intelligent Automation.
Appointment booking wait times went from 6-8 weeks to 24 hours
Prior to the implementation of our automation programme, the antenatal clinic often struggled with a growing backlog of referrals, making it challenging to manage and prioritise effectively. Patients sometimes endured lengthy wait times, spanning 6-8 weeks, just to have their referrals processed and appointments scheduled.
As our team diligently worked to address a constant influx of 100 referrals while another 150 appeared, they faced the unenviable task of continually assessing which referrals carried the highest risk and required immediate attention. Despite numerous attempts to allocate additional resources and adjust our processes, the problem persisted, leading to a disheartened staff and an all-time low in job satisfaction.
The solution to this ongoing challenge lies in the automation of this labour-intensive process. By establishing clear rules for each referral type within our automated system, we've achieved the remarkable ability to swiftly allocate and book appointments within minutes of receiving a referral. This automated system handles five distinct types of referrals for the antenatal clinic:
- Serial Scan Pathway
- GTT (Glucose Tolerance Test)
The impact of automating these processes cannot be overstated. Appointments that previously took 6-8 weeks to schedule are now confirmed within 24 hours of receiving the referral, instantly accessible to patients through their maternity app.
Since the introduction of this automation, we've observed a return to normal levels of staff sickness and a substantial increase in job satisfaction. Not only has the quality and efficiency of our patient care improved, but the overall well-being of our teams has also seen a marked boost.
Our comprehensive offering includes full support and guidance, facilitating the rapid development and deployment of the automation solution within your Trust. This is achieved through:
- Clinical Process Consultation
- Stakeholder Consultation and Business Case Support
- Project Management
- Ongoing Support
Hear from the team
This video series gives you a deeper understanding to the programs delivery and impact
Programme Impact and Results
This infographic illustrates the programme impact on both patients and staff within the trust.