“One of our priorities following a visit from the CQC was safe care for women at risk of deterioration, especially in rural areas”, explains Sarah-Jane. “We developed a project to take simulation out to rural settings to improve and contextualise training for community teams and to further enhance skills in recognition, team working, escalation and treatment of women at homebirth and standalone birth centres in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.”
“Historically simulations have been carried out in a hospital setting”, Sarah-Jane continues. “Wanting to ensure that the environment for training was as true as possible to the rural areas where women choose to birth we took simulation out into the community to enable practice of obstetric emergency skills in real settings, which provide a unique opportunity for multi-professional discussions and collaborative learning. This enables the team to explore and understand the human factors that impact safe patient care.”
For Sarah-Jane and her colleagues, the simulations show that maternity teams have developed enhanced skills, effective problem solving and good team work. “They provide reassurance as to what’s working well and help to demonstrate the excellent teams that we have in place. They also let us know which pockets of care could be improved and what recommendations and action plans we need to draw up in order to improve the standard of care we’re able to provide. It’s also a great way of recognising excellent ideas from one area and then extending that across all community teams.”
A range of different organisations and individuals take part in these simulations. The recent training in the community, including the Isles of Scilly, involved members of SWAST, Community Midwives, Maternity Support Workers and Paramedics. “This approach helps us to ensure that safe care is provided in rural areas and provides opportunity for teams that work together to train together in their real setting “.