Skimming through the British Medical Journal, I came across a blog called Breaking bad news in maternity care. It’s a lovely piece about the new learning resources I worked on with the Miscarriage Association.
I coordinated the development of these resources, working with the National Director of the Miscarriage Association, the Media Trust and lots of service users and health professionals. Mary Higgins describes them as strong, powerful, upsetting and thought provoking with important learning points. I’m pretty pleased with that.
The resources are online now although we’re not launching them officially until the new Miscarriage Association website is live. But it’s great to see that health professionals are finding them useful already.
There are six films – one each for ambulance crews, A&E staff, GPs and booking in staff supporting women with pregnancy loss and two for anyone talking to women about management of miscarriage and what happens to the remains of their baby. Each one is accompanied by a good practice guide.
- I created a short survey for women and their partners. It asked them the top three things they would like to tell the relevant health professional about their care – and had a free text box too. In the BMJ blog Mary Higgins writes ‘what I say will be remembered for the rest of their life’. And it’s true. Most women who responded remembered exactly what they were told – good or bad – even after 10 or 15 years. It’s so important to get it right.
- I also surveyed health professionals to find out what they and their colleagues found hardest about these situations and where they would like more training.
- I wrote a report on each of these six areas, identifying key learning points and pulling out quotes and experiences we should highlight.
- I worked with the Media Trust and the Miscarriage Association to develop scripts for each of the films, seeking feedback from the relevant health professionals and making contact with lots of very helpful hospital trusts to ask for their advice on getting the practicalities right.
- I liased with a number of trusts in order to find locations for the filming.
- I attended the shoots to advise on the scenes and chat to the actors.
- I liased with the women who came to talk about their experiences on film, chatting to them on the phone about what we were looking for, organising transport and answering questions by email.
- I provided and collated feedback and comments on the film edits.
- I added subtitles to the films and uploaded them to YouTube with the appropriate information, links and captions.
- I drafted the six good practice guides and learning landing pages.
- I built the pages in the current website (although I am looking forward to moving them to the new site where they will look much better).
- I spoke to hospitals, trusts and health boards all over the UK to gather contacts for disseminating the resources.
- I attended the Primary Care Conference in Birmingham to talk about the upcoming resources with health professionals there.
- I developed a flyer for on and offline advertising.
- I created feedback surveys for each of the guides and films to help us gather feedback and make changes.
The resources are only just making their way out into the world but if they help other health professionals in the way they helped Mary Higgins, they’ll be doing the job we hoped they would.