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Newham Hospital improves care for mothers-to-be

PUBLISHED: 06:30 11 December 2011 | UPDATED: 07:54 12 December 2011

Newham Hospital's VTE champions pictured outside the hospital.

Newham Hospital's VTE champions pictured outside the hospital.

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Mums-to-be at Newham Hospital can look forward to better care as maternity staff implement a new strategy to prevent blood clots.

Mothers-to-be at Newham Hospital can look forward to better care as maternity staff implement a new strategy to prevent blood clots.

Newham University Hospital NHS Trust (NUHT) is taking a proactive approach to preventing Venous Thromboembolism (VTE) in maternity by implementing new risk assessments and training to improve patient safety.

The maternity department has been using a new risk assessment tool and have developed a new strategy for VTE. It has led to an increase in the number of assessments, up from 6.9 per cent in April to 70 per cent in October.

In addition, frequent teaching sessions on the importance of doing risk assessments in maternity wards and antenatal clinics have been introduced.

Hilary Shanahan, director of nursing and midwifery, said: “Our current results for VTE risk assessment compliance are very impressive and is a testament to the hard work of our staff. VTE risk assessment is paramount for all admitted women and ensuring it is reviewed as and when is necessary to prevent VTE and provide the best quality of care for our women.”

VTE ward champions have now been introduced and will cover the labour wards, midwifery-led birthing unit, antenatal and postnatal wards, and also in the community. Two obstetric registrars and one consultant are also VTE champions.

The proactive approach and support for VTE prevention in maternity is a tribute to the hard work of trust consultant, Alpa Shah, who has led the work in maternity.

Alpa said: “Patient safety is at the forefront of our work. We are introducing patient information so that patients understand how to prevent VTE, along with the risks and the treatments.

“I’m really proud of the way the team have taken this very important patient safety issue on board to achieve 70 per cent compliance in October and are currently on track to achieve 90 per cent in November.”


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