Monitoring May

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Appropriate fetal monitoring during labour and birth is vital for the health and wellbeing of mother and baby alike. For Monitoring May, midwife and founder of the National Fetal Monitoring network Sarah Blackwell outlines the activities taking place across the month.

I’m the Fetal Monitoring Lead for University Hospitals of Leicester and the Avoiding Brain Injury in Childbirth (ABC) Project. As a DHSC funded initiative, ABC is a collaboration between organisations including the Royal College of Midwives, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and THIS Institute to improve fetal surveillance and safety, and includes the development of new training resources.

To raise awareness of fetal monitoring and to share some of the amazing work that is helping to make services safer, we are holding a number of events from 9 to 13 March for Monitoring May.

This national initiative was inspired by Catherine Hopley, then Fetal Monitoring Lead for Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, when she organised a local event to help launch new monitoring guidelines. As founder of the National Fetal Monitoring Network I immediately saw the benefit of getting on board with this, and in 2021 we developed a month long learning event based around fetal monitoring, human factors, maternity safety and shared learning.

These activities were so well received that we are back again in 2022! Monitoring May 2022 is set to be another jam-packed programme with some amazing speakers.

With different themes every day, we’ll cover; fetal monitoring, antenatal CTG, intrapartum and hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy (HIE), safer maternity care and education and training over a pandemic. With fetal monitoring leads across the country showcasing throughout the week the amazing hard work they have been doing to help answer the recommendations of Saving Babies Lives and the Ockenden report to help reduce brain injury by 50 per cent by 2025.

The event is to be held virtually and is being supported by the East Midlands Heath science network on the TEAMs platform.

Speakers during the week include Donna Ockenden, Sara Ledger, Professor Redman this combined with the user voice and members of wider clinical midwifery and obstetric profession, it is set to be a great week of shared learning, networking and helping to improve patient safety.