New award-winning learning for midwives

Midwives can now build their confidence and skills in intermittent auscultation using a new programme from eIntegrity.

Intermittent auscultation is the recommended method of fetal monitoring for all babies who are considered at low risk of fetal hypoxia during labour. Recent research has shown that intermittent auscultation plays a key role in improving safety in low-risk birth settings.

This online learning programme helps midwives to build their interpretation skills and knowledge in Intelligent Intermittent Auscultation (IIA).  Learners can listen to audio clips with fetal heart sounds, answer questions and see whether they have interpreted the sounds correctly. In practice, this enables midwives to detect any deterioration or abnormalities in the fetal heart rate and then escalate those that require continuous electronic fetal monitoring.

The programme, which is accredited by the Royal College of Midwives, includes both pre-course and post assessment exercises – so you can track improvements as you progress.

Eileen Dudley, Project Lead for the IIA Programme, said: “This is a unique programme. Midwives apply their knowledge of fetal physiology to learn when to listen, how to listen and to fully understand what they’re hearing. No other programme allows healthcare organisations to evidence competence in IIA in this way.”

The IIA programme has been written by consultant midwives from the Oxford University Hospitals and Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trusts. It has been developed by the Oxford Academic Health Science Network, with the University of Oxford’s medical simulation, research and teaching facility team.

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In 2020, the programme won the Innovation of the Year Award at the Health Service Journal Patient Safety Awards and it was highly commended in the Education and Training Award category.

In their commendation, the judges said: “This…is an innovative and potentially global influencing programme. It is an important piece of work in an area of care prone to serious failures with terrible consequences for everyone involved. This project makes a real difference to outcomes for mothers and babies while also increasing the confidence of midwives at the same time.”

The programme also won the Contribution to Midwifery Education Award at the 2019 British Journal of Midwifery Practice Awards.