One Born Every Minute

A team of midwives and doctors from the same Bristol unit that features in the hit TV show ‘One Born Every Minute’ were in Forth Valley recently, training maternity teams from all over Scotland to manage obstetric emergencies and make childbirth even safer for mothers and babies.

Staff from Elgin, Borders, Ayrshire and Forth Valley attended a two-day course at the Scottish Centre for Simulation & Clinical Human Factors (SCSCHF), based within Forth Valley Royal Hospital.

Run by a team known as PROMPT (Practical Obstetric Multi-Professional Training) the training package teaches participants to become trainers themselves, so that all colleagues involved in maternity care have the same localised learning in the event of an emergency. Co-ordinated by a charity – the PROMPT Maternity Foundation – the aim is to reduce preventable harm to mothers and their babies by improving awareness through effective training.

Following their success in Bristol, PROMPT training has now been rolled out to 70 per cent of maternity units in England and the Scottish Government has provided funding to introduce PROMPT training into Scottish hospitals, through a study known as THISTLE (Trial of Hands-on Interprofessional Simulation Training for Local Emergencies). The aim of THISTLE is to determine whether a multi-professional training programme is clinically effective across a health service.

PROMPT’S Lead Researcher,  Consultant Obstetrician Professor Tim Draycott, said the aim was to train all staff involved in maternity care so they can work better as a team during emergencies.“In maternity, there is no point in looking at the performance of staff on an individual basis with regards to maternal mortality, stillbirth and other rare adverse outcomes – it’s a team effort and training should reflect that.”

As well as the two day course, delegates are provided with a ‘Course in a Box’ – a collection of training materials including manuals, a DVD with useful videos and presentations and one year’s technical support from the PROMPT team. Information covers everything from sepsis and anaesthetic emergencies to uterine inversion and antepartum haemorrhage.

Lead Research Midwife Cathy Winter has helped train many healthcare professionals with PROMPT. She said:  “We provide staff with the means to help them run their own local training days. Maternity colleagues already undertake training each year so that they are up-to-date with managing rare obstetric emergencies and we have found that when training is run in their own unit, staff will gain added benefit from using their own equipment. Training in a multi-professional team rather than as individuals prepares them for real-life situations.”

Michael Moneypenny, Consultant Anaesthetist and Director of the SCSCHF, added: “At the National Simulation Centre, we are extremely proud to be hosting this vital training for healthcare assistants, midwives, obstetricians and anaesthetists. This project fits within our remit of training the trainers and people attending this course will return to their base hospitals and train others. We hope that this project will show a difference in the care which mothers and babies in Scotland receive.”

The PROMPT team have travelled the world with their project, training staff in New Zealand, Hong Kong, Australia, Switzerland, North America and Zimbabwe. They have already trained eight Scottish maternity units and will train a further four in November this year, again at the Scottish Centre for Simulation&Clinical Human Factors.