Following #Expo16NHS..I could be replaced… ‘technically’

And so another NHS Expo conference comes to an end. It was a lively 2 days with lots of amazing people coming together to share new ideas about the future of health and social care.

The conference was largely dominated by the digital and technical innovations that may help to create the NHS of the future (and make it better presumably)… I have always been interested in how technology may make a variety of health care improvements…I have written about one of my ideas here.

Sir @DrBruceKeogh providing a broad outline on recent ground breaking digital innovations

The digital news as reported by @keithgrimes was as follows:

  • Patients will be able to book appointments, order medications, and download records, US ‘Blue Button’ style, on a revamped http://www.nhs.uk to be launched at Expo 2017.
  • Anyone will be able to access detailed stats on performance in key areas such as dementia, diabetes, and learning disabilities
  • There will be online access to 111, which can lead to direct appointment, signposting, or callbacks.
  • By March 2017 there will be a directory of approved apps from March 2017, with subsequent support for wearables
  • 12 hospitals to become “Digital Exemplars” – each receiving £10m funding, matched by trust, and partnering with world leader organisations.
  • The creation of a second round of ‘national’ excellence centres, with more detail to follow.
  • The creation of an NHS Digital Academy to teach Informatics skills to NHS staff and create the next generation of Clinical Chief Information Officers and Digital Health Leaders.

And for more digital ideas….


Often, whilst working clinically as a midwife, I also find myself behaving like a robot… (Don’t worry… I obviously use my gut and intuition too)!…but really, as midwives we are calculating risk at all times….like a computer. Also…we follow certain pathways as midwives…if a blood pressure becomes out of range…we take the next prescribed step in making a referral or delivering a new treatment to fix it. A computer could do this.

Imagine a woman coming into a clinic to see a robot (of sorts). She is scanned, measured and given the full M.O.T that she would normally receive from a midwife, but it is the robot who calculates the risks and the next steps to take. At the end of the exam.. the robot gives the woman a print out report, which outlines what should be done next in light of any new findings. The robot can answer questions too…

…(hopefully better than google can)

…or it can tap into a Skype call with a registered health professional. Imagine a future like this..better or worse? In a pressured maternity service, this could indeed be the new way of things. Could I be replaced as a midwife?…’technically’?

I think not. But a digital future like this could certainly support midwives in practice. Would it be safer? are human errors more common than digital ones?… Certainly worth exploring I think.

What do women want from their midwife? A human face? compassion? Human touch?…None of these could be delivered by a robot (probably)… and so perhaps a digital future like this would afford midwives more time to be compassionate and ‘human’..


Also at Expo.. there was @roylilley….with @JaneMCummings

Singing ‘Always look on the bright side of life…’


Obviously they were doing this to celebrate and introduce 

..not far away now (19th October 2016)

And we also heard more singing as we enjoyed a very moving rendition of “I will try to fix you”…


By the @NHSChoir for the  at

from with bonus live sessions from

My colleagues and I also presented our #ShowsWorkplaceCompassion research for the first time and some of the other work we have been doing in partnership with @NHSEngland to commission for a positive staff experience. Thank you to everyone who came along and shared thoughts and ideas to help us shape this project.

I was also invited to join sessions on the

Maternity Transformation programme: Delivering the 2020 Vision at #Expo16NHS #MatImp #MatExp #BetterBirths #BUMP

and the …

@empathymuseum at #Expo16NHS #WalkAMileInMyShoes via @HealthFdn.

Click the links to read more….

Next year, I hope to be sharing more research and ideas. No doubt I will still be on my quest to improve the staff experience within health and social care..after all… patient experience and staff experience are both sides of the same coin..


See the Twitter activity from#Expo16NHS here

Until next time…be kind to yourselves, and eachother 💛💙💜💚❤


Maternity Transformation programme: Delivering the 2020 Vision at #Expo16NHS #MatImp #MatExp #BetterBirths #BUMP

Two experiences really stuck out for me at this years NHS Expo (2016) and one of these experiences, was a session looking at how we now move on to make the Maternity Transformation programme a reality. I was honored to be invited to join this session, and was keen to see how things were progressing. The session was hosted by Sarah-Jane Marsh (@BCHBoss), CEO of Birmingham Children’s Hospital and now Birmingham Women’s too, Sarah-Jane is now also leading the work on the NHS England Maternity Transformation programme delivery.

Throughout the session, Sarah-Jane spoke passionately about how we might now see real change….All of us in the room were no longer talking about change…we were signing up to make it happen.

See programme here: Maternity Transformation programme: Delivering the 2020 Vision

Following Sarah-Janes introductions and visions for the programme, we were invited to join a live panel debate. This was very much an interactive question and answer session with some very highly motivated maternity experts (as you can see below!)


This session was  filled with new ideas about how we can all come together using primary care and social services as key partners to implement #BetterBirths for all. Recommendations were that local maternity systems should support women’s participation in making new changes. Clinical networks and community hubs were also cited as ways to create and spread change. But at the heart of all this, it was clear that everyone can do their own little bit to implement the recommendations from the Better Births report. 


As you know…for me, I do not believe that excellence in maternity care is achievable without the provision of a thriving and healthy maternity workforce, who can enjoy a psychologically safe professional journey. Therefore, I shall keep working towards effective support for midwives in order to create better births for women and their babies.

As a lived example of how one maternity unit is implementing real change, we were also introduced to the B.U.M.P @Project_BUMP

First…we see where we are… what do we have and what do we want to change…what is working? What is failing us?…Lets make a realistic plan!

As women’s circumstances change throughout pregnancy (as may also their decisions and choices)…any new system must be flexible enough to respond quickly to the needs of both women and staff. This model ensures that the journey through maternity services can be enjoyed in partnership with the right staff, with access to the right support.

In revising the pathways of maternity care, we are ensuring that we can provide services that meet the needs of every woman and staff member. Yet women must be able to move freely between these pathways as required. We must also move towards and help women to engage with the most appropriate pathways for them and their families. Often we know that the most appropriate pathway for women is midwifery led care….and so here we must increase capacity. We must also engage, educate and empower women to embrace this midwifery led model of care (where appropriate) as we work in partnership with them to achieve the very best in maternity care outcomes.



We also heard wonderful success stories from the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay who were really using the ‘Plan, Do, check, Act’ tool to snowball their improvement activities…

And of course the  team were also rocking out the session in their usual style. However, I was personally most touched by the women who came along to this session in order to share their stories.

A powerful poem by ….

A poem inspired by @HeartMummy….

These experiences are always so powerful to hear, and really reinforce how the ripples of everything we do can resonate in both the smallest and largest ways. We must keep sharing…Thank you.

File 06-09-2016, 22 56 47


Great quotes from the session…

‘Pizzas are Delivered, Babies are Birthed’

‘We all have a part in bringing to life’

‘There are 28 recommendations. All important. Don’t cherry pick!’

‘Failure to dilate ? Incompetent cervix ? What do such words do to women ?’

‘The energy in Birmingham for & is infectious! programme’


The Maternity Transformation team are are now calling for expressions of interest from local maternity systems to test models of care to improve maternity services. Local maternity systems will need to align with Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) footprints, and so applications will need to be supported and approved by the identified leads for the STP footprint areas. Completed applications should be submitted to the Maternity Transformation Programme team by email to england.maternitytransformation@nhs.net by Monday 19 September 2016.

Have you signed up?

There is a real enthusiasm here for real change in the maternity services. It is where life begins, and it is here that we have the largest opportunity to get things right for our future. Let’s make sure we take every opportunity to get things right.

Until next time…Look after yourselves..and each other 💛💙💜💚❤