Signposting women to self-refer for maternity care using the Mum & Baby app
The North West London LMS co-designed Mum & Baby, a digital maternity app, in collaboration with local women, their families and a range of specialists and services across the sector.
The Mum & Baby app launched in November 2018 and includes innovative features:
- enabling women and their families easy access to accurate and up-to-date local maternity services information to confidently make choices about their maternity care provider, birth setting and other care options;
- providing easy access to clinician-validated and locally pertinent information, which has been collaboratively approved, thus addressing the challenge of inconsistencies in information;
- encouraging women and their families to actively participate in their maternity care by being prompted to co-create and share their digital care plans with the clinical teams.
Notably, the app provides a single point of access enabling women to refer themselves to maternity services, ensuring timely first access to maternity care and supporting the national recommendation of review by local maternity services before 11 weeks of pregnancy.
A recent poll of the maternity services suggests that by far the majority of women self-refer for maternity care in preference to making an appointment to see their GP.
The NW London LMS recommends that all women use the app to self-refer for maternity care for the following reasons:
- the app is free to use and easy to download from the App Store or Google Play
- self-referral can be done as soon as the woman is aware of her pregnancy
- shortens the waiting time between referral and first booking appointment
- frees up GPs valuable time
GP surgeries are therefore requested to signpost women to the Mum and Baby app, informing them that self-referral is recommended. For women who do not have access to a smartphone, the self-referral form can be completed online through the Trusts’ maternity websites.
Please video outlining the features of the app.