Fetal telemedicine: the challenges of remote collaboration between NHS Trusts

Bidmead, Elaine ORCID logo ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0166-4506 and Marshall, Alison ORCID logo ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6816-2362 (2016) Fetal telemedicine: the challenges of remote collaboration between NHS Trusts. In: Cumbria Research and Enterprise Conference: Real World Research & Innovation, 8 July 2016, University of Cumbria, Lancaster, UK. (Unpublished) Full text not available from this repository.

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BACKGROUND: Ultrasound screening is offered to all pregnant women. If a fetal problem is detected women are referred to fetal medicine specialists, but there is not a specialist in Cumbria; consequently, women are referred to the regional Fetal Medicine Unit (FMU) in Newcastle. For women in West Cumbria this can mean 6 hours of travelling at their own expense. Telemedicine offers the potential to provide specialist ultrasound and consultation to women in local units. The AHSN for North East and North Cumbria funded a pilot to establish videoconferencing between the obstetric unit at West Cumberland Hospital (WCH) and the FMU at Newcastle RVI to test technical feasibility and user acceptability. CaCHeT undertook a stakeholder adoption study of this pilot; here we present emerging findings and concentrate on challenges and lessons learned.

METHOD: Following the Stakeholder Empowered Adoption Model semi-structured interviews were conducted with key economic and staff stakeholders – the Newcastle team undertook a patient evaluation.

RESULTS: Fetal telemedicine was found to be technically viable and acceptable to women. Although women were identified as the main beneficiaries, sonographers reported benefits to their practice and being upskilled; obstetric staff at WCH reported benefits from increased access to specialist advice. Nevertheless, challenges were experienced. Technical problems and organisational barriers/pressures delayed the start of the project considerably, this impacted upon the number of women scanned and resulted in sonographers at WCH feeling ‘under pressure’ from the start; sonographers also found remote collaborative working a challenge.

CONCLUSION: Fetal telemedicine is technically viable and acceptable to women. Whilst stakeholders identified barriers and challenges all stakeholders were keen to see the intervention continue and expand. Attention to the barriers and challenges will make clear the lessons to be learned and will assist in further expansion of the service to other obstetric units and other modalities.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Lecture)
Departments: Research Centres > Cumbrian Centre for Health Technologies (CACHET)
Additional Information: Elaine Bidmead, of Cumbrian Centre for Health Technologies (CaCHeT) at the University of Cumbria, delivers this talk.
Depositing User: Anna Lupton
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2019 14:19
Last Modified: 11 Jan 2024 16:46
URI: https://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/4851
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