Giving maternity wards tours a virtual bump

The Birmingham and Solihull United Maternity and Newborn Partnership (BUMP) was established to bring together local services that provide support and care for expectant mothers and their babies.

It aims to ensure that pregnant mothers can access high-quality care and are also able to choose the services most suited to their needs. The partnership includes maternity services provided by Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust and University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, which are responsible for welcoming more than 18,000 babies into the world each year. It aims to provide a single point of access for all maternity referrals, dedicated community hubs which bring midwifery and specialist care to convenient locations, and a host of additional services, including online antenatal courses and much more.

The partnership is also responsible for the maternity wards at the Heartlands, Birmingham, Solihull and Good Hope hospitals. Because of growth in the number of people using its services, it approached Quiet Storm for help in developing a solution to meet the growing demand for mothers wanting tours of the maternity facilities at the four hospitals. It wanted a solution that was simple to administrate, would free-up valuable staff time and would enable mothers to make an informed choice about where they would like their baby to be born.

 

A virtual solution

Our solution was to create a series of virtual video tours of the four maternity wards, which would enable pregnant mothers to view the facilities at their convenience from the comfort of their own homes, at a time of their choosing, rather than wait for an appointment for an in-person tour, which are only available at select, off-peak times. Instead of having to book an appointment to visit the ward in person, users can download a simple app, which they can use to take a tour of whichever ward they want to.

In order to bring this about, we spent a day at each maternity ward planning out a filming schedule and then capturing footage using a state-of-the-art Vega 360° camera, which enabled us to create a fully immersive virtual experience for the end user. It allows pregnant mothers and their partners to walk around each facility, see inside every room and get a feel for the ward and what it can offer, to help them make an informed choice about where they give birth.

The footage was filmed in a ‘live’ environment to give people a flavour of what can be expected, how busy it might be and what might be happening during their stay, as well as providing reassurance about the quality of care they will receive. 

 

Making the most of new technology

Emma Fancott, Communications and Engagement Lead at BUMP, said:

“BUMP is an innovative partnership that is always looking at newer ways of providing traditional maternity services to increase efficiency and free-up valuable staff time. Creating a virtual tour of our maternity services not only achieves this, but also gives pregnant mothers the opportunity to view and engage with our facilities in a way that they are used to communicating now, using smart technology and the internet.”  

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