Sonographer striving to make a difference to the patients she treats

A Stockton midwife sonographer is working tirelessly to make lasting changes to maternity services at North Tees.

48 year-old Nicola Threadgold seized the opportunity to take part in quality improvement (QI) to make a difference to the lives of the patients she treats.

Nicola said: “I wanted to get involved with QI as I believe that every woman accessing maternity services wants a positive experience and every member of staff wants to provide the safest, highest quality care.

“I was so excited to work with a team and influence change in my place of work, getting to see the impact my projects are making on patients.

“The Trust is dedicated to continually improving the care that we offer patients so I knew that I would be guided and supported throughout the process.”

Nicola has taken on a number of QI projects ranging from ultrasound training to improving the care of premature babies, all having a direct impact on patient care.

The team have also been responsible for the introduction of uterine artery dopplers (UAD) as part of the Saving Babies Lives Care bundle.

UAD’s are an additional screening tool that helps identify women considered at high risk in their pregnancy, offering them extra ultrasounds and increased surveillance.

“My experience of QI has been positive; being able to be a part of projects that influence and deliver sustainable changes has enhanced my job satisfaction.” Nicola commented.

North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust have pledged their dedication to quality improvement, delivering a suite of bespoke training and development to staff.

This includes the NHS standardised Quality, Service Improvement and Redesign (QSIR) courses.

The Trust has since enrolled over 90 members of staff on this service improvement training, with plans to deliver it in house from spring 2023.

Nicola reinforced this: “No one is expected to drive these changes alone, it is a team approach.

“I am lucky to work in a Trust that gives me lots of support and, most importantly, allows me to make a difference.

“QI has increased my knowledge, improved my confidence and shown me that I can make a real difference in my role.”

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