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Chief Nurse's Blog

Chief Nurse’s Blog

Date of release: 1 December 2020

Latest News: Ann-Marie Cannaby Blog

For this week’s blog I wanted to turn the spotlight on an individual who has been a real star in turning the service she leads into an award-winning one.

Nina Johns is a Consultant Obstetrician who joined the Trust in September 2019 from Birmingham Women’s Hospital, where she worked in a similar role for 10 years. 

Having trained in the West Midlands and been a consultant since 2010, she remains passionate for all things maternity, innovation and improvement.

In her previous role she led a team in developing a new triage system for women who attended the maternity triage department with concerns or complications in their pregnancy, called the Birmingham Symptom-specific Obstetric Triage System (BSOTS). 

BSOTS is based on the triage systems we all recognise from emergency departments, but that previously did not exist in maternity units. 

Since designing and testing BSOTS in Birmingham, it is now used in 28 other maternity units in the UK, and soon to be used in Australia. 

This month her department at Birmingham won the national Health Service Journal (HSJ) Patient Safety Award for Maternity and Midwifery Services Initiative of the Year.

This followed on from last year’s success when the BSOTS team won two regional awards for Maternity Innovation and Safety.

Within six months of Nina joining the Trust, the COVID-19 pandemic arrived, but she and her team immediately started a series of innovations that streamlined the emergency maternity services and kept antenatal care open for women.

Our amazing midwifery hub continues to coordinate its care pathways and manages all our pregnant women who phone us with positive COVID swabs from home.

As we continue to provide our maternity services during the pandemic, Nina has also ensured the team has continued its innovation, quality improvement and maternity safety work. 

They have launched a ‘Teach or Treat’ initiative on the labour ward, to improve responses to clinical communication with each other, with a morning of teaching, and lots of cake!

The team continuously improves their training for monitoring babies and women in labour, with new ways of teaching and our foetal monitoring lead midwives.

Following feedback from staff, they have just applied to the regional Patient Safety Collaborative for funding for a new project called New Cross CALM, which stands for Civility, Appreciation and Learning in Maternity, to continue to improve their multi-professional team communications and safety learning.

Nina is hoping to build on this innovation and amazing maternity teamwork during the pandemic, to continue striving to realise the full potential of the staff and services here at the Trust. 

With her additional roles with the West Midlands Maternity Clinical Network and the RCOG Each baby Counts team, she can bring a national and regional profile to the amazing work at RWT and use her team’s initiatives as a template for improvements in maternity care across the West Midlands and the UK.

Take care,

A Teaching Trust of the University of Birmingham