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Women can now book pregnancy care online

06 August 2015

Health Care

A new online maternity booking system, developed by the hospital’s IT department, is going live during August as part of the trust’s transformation programme for the women’s and children’s directorate.

Women no longer need to see a GP to be referred for maternity care. The new online system will provide a quick and convenient way to access maternity services, as self-referrals can be completed any time of the day, using a computer or most mobile and tablet devices.

The new system will include automatic referral to the smoking cessation service, with an opt-out option for women who don't wish to be referred. In addition, to reduce the number of wasted appointments, there is a facility for women who have been attending the fertility clinic to cancel their outstanding appointment now that they are pregnant. 

Deborah Edwards, co-ordinator of the pregnancy booking line, who has been leading the project, said: "We are excited to be introducing the online referral facility - it brings our maternity services truly into the 21st century by providing a service that meets the demand of women in the Southend area as well as others who choose to use our service.

"Once we receive the information, a midwife from the pregnancy booking line phones to discuss and take consent for the antenatal screening blood tests, give advice and confirm their named midwife.  By providing information in advance, using our secure website, we will reduce the amount of time that calls take by up to 15 minutes.  We can then use this time on the phone with women who need extra reassurance or who have additional questions - it's all about individualised care and facilitating informed choice."

PHOTO: Project leader, Debbie Edwards (far left) and her team.