Midwife Caroline develops innovative new maternity emergency system

Our midwife Caroline Lacy is developing a new innovative system that helps teams to allocate specific roles, in the event of an emergency on our maternity unit.

Inspired by the way our emergency department (ED) responds to incoming trauma patients, Caroline has been developing a new interactive system – known as ‘ERA Systems’ – to help clinicians declare emergencies and allocate roles to the responding team, before reaching the patient’s bedside.

Caroline’s idea has won the backing of NHS England and Improvement’s clinical entrepreneur programme, which is a workforce development programme for clinical and non-clinical NHS colleagues, run by NHS England/Improvement’s ‘Innovation, Research and Life Sciences group’.

How it works

The system updates the clinicians before they arrive at the scene, so they know more about the situation they are attending, what their role is, the equipment and response needed to safely manage the event, and what has already been put in place to support the patient.

Delivering safe, timely and effective care

This enhances teamwork, saves time for clinicians by maintaining the team’s collective understanding of a situation, and helps everyone involved provide safe and timely care.

“There are many benefits for using this system besides improving the patient experience and outcomes,” Caroline explains. “Our maternity unit is supported by obstetric, anaesthesiology and theatre colleagues, who each cover a wide footprint across the hospital. Before they reach the patient’s bedside, ERA Systems will give them an immediate overview of the emergency - and what is required from them.”

Working together

Caroline’s system is being built in collaboration with her colleagues. “We are currently running simulations of every type of emergency, as we want all of our maternity colleagues to have had the chance to help build the system, so that it works for them. This is a really exciting new system and we are looking forward to introducing it fully in the coming months on our maternity unit.”