“I feel empowered to make changes to improve care for women with early pregnancy complications” – how leadership programme inspired NHS worker

An NHS worker who has led a project to improve care for women with early pregnancy complications has recognised the support of a special leadership scheme in helping her to make changes.

EPAC nurse in a clinic room.Amy Hunter, an advanced practitioner in ultrasound at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, has led an improvement project at the organisation as part of their 100 leaders programme.

Her group’s change project focused on improving the experience of women in a challenging stage of their pregnancy who may feel anxious coming to their appointment.

Amy said: “Ladies who experience abnormal early pregnancy symptoms in their first trimester, and who have also had previous early pregnancy complications, share waiting areas with heavily pregnant ladies and are scanned in the same rooms.

“The locations of these services does lack sensitivity and compassion and can heighten the anxiety levels of these women.

“They also have to make a journey through the hospital to get to the early pregnancy assessment clinic nurses.

“The aim of our project was to stop the co-location of these services, enabling all of the scans and diagnosis to take place in one area.”

Amy, who has wanted to change the process for some time, was given the help to do so after enrolling in the Trust’s 100 Leaders programme.

The initiative gives staff the opportunity to make 10 courageous changes over a six month period – with support from a mentor from the Trust’s senior management team.

The programme forms part of the Trust’s investment in staff, enabling them to improve the services provided to patients.

Amy’s project joins a host of cohort 1 projects including a staff networking service and an installation of stairs linking staff breakout area (Rainbow Room) to the canteen.

She explained: “With the help of the project, we put an early pregnancy specialist nurse on an ultrasound training course. She is now in the process of completing her certification.

“This nurse will carry out the triage, scan, diagnosis, review and counselling of ladies.

“It is the hope – with the support and passion of everyone in the team – that we will get further nurses on the course.

“It’s never been a short term project but 100 leaders got us off the starting blocks.

“It has empowered me to look at changes and given me confidence to act on these changes.

“Without the support of this initiative – I would never have felt empowered to make changes to improve care for pregnant women.”

Cohort 2 of the 100 leaders programme recently launched at Hardwick Hall in April 2022. Read more about the full programme here

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