A Midwife Engagement Initiative
Background- What was the Initiative?
The research midwives had identified that, despite their best efforts, out of hours recruitment to studies was never optimal. Therefore, Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust piloted a 12 month long initiative, led by SNR Research Nurse and Midwife Claire Leader, and Engagement Lead Sheryl Mitchell, which entailed having a research midwife present for the delivery suite handovers at the beginning and end of each day. This enabled the research midwife to remind doctors and midwives about the studies, and to identify the women who were potentially eligible. The midwife was also able to explain the recruitment process on a 1-2-1 basis, which gave staff the confidence to recruit in emergency situations.
What was the outcome of the initiative?
The initiative was a success, and recruitment to a number of delivery suite studies improved significantly over this period. This was largely due to increased confidence of staff to recruit, and better awareness of active studies.
What were the benefits of the initiative?
Due to this initiative taking place stronger relationships formed between the research midwives and the clinical midwives, leading to a better general attitude towards research, and an enhanced understanding of the process. The fact the research midwives were visible at critical times of day when all communication was happening was key to the success of this initiative.
What challenges were encountered?
Some resistance was encountered amongst clinical staff who did not see research as a priority. There were also issues around the confidence of clinical staff in recruiting to studies. However, having the research midwives present regularly helped to strengthen relationships and break down barriers.
What supporting resources were required?
The main resource in making this initiative a success were the research midwives. There were financial implications to this; the research midwife would need to be working until after 8pm, meaning unsocial enhancements had to be paid. However, this was covered and on balance it was agreed that the relatively small additional payment was worth it.