Maternity and neonatal staff from across the region had the chance to hear from a range of renowned speakers at a webinar dedicated to the topic of Optimal Cord Management – an evidence-based, simple and effective non-intervention for improving newborn outcomes, reducing death in preterm babies by nearly a third.

Organised by Kent Surrey Sussex Patient Safety Collaborative’s (KSS PSC)  MatNeo Safety Improvement Programme (SIP) team, the event was chaired by Helen McElroy, MatNeo clinical lead and Consultant Neonatologist, who gave a brief overview on historical and current data around cord management.

The keynote talk was delivered by Professor Heike, a Consultant Neonatologist from Brighton Medical School, who presented “Optimal Cord Management To Enhance Physiological Transition at Birth”. The presentation included an introduction to the BAPM tool kit and gave an insight on how this can be used for local quality improvement project work.

Dr Vennila Ponnusamy a Consultant Neonatologist from Ashford & St Peters, then presented on “A Practical Guide To Successful Introduction of Optimal Cord Clamping”.

Nanette Neal, Project Manager for MatNeoSIP, said the event was instrumental in helping Trusts across KSS to develop Quality Improvement initiatives to increase the number of babies born less than 34 weeks gestation who have their umbilical cord clamped at least 60 seconds or more after birth, except when there are specific documented maternal or fetal conditions to justify earlier clamping.

“This is a key area of development for our Trusts, and so we are delighted to have been able to have presentations from some of the leading experts in this field,” she said.

“We know that some units across the region have already changed or are looking at changing their practice, so we were delighted that Penny Bliss, Senior Midwife from Maidstone & Tunbridge Wells, was able to showcase their achievement on implementing optimal cord management in clinical practice, and discuss how to break down barriers and the importance of working collaboratively with the neonatal team.

“We were also able to hear from Clare Redfern a Consultant Obstetrician from East Kent Hospital, whose account of applying cord management from an obstetrician’s point of view ensured that our delegates were able to get a full understanding of the principles of Optimal Cord Management.”

A recording of the webinar is available on KSS AHSN’s YouTube channel. The next MatNeo Collaborative will be held in partnership with Oxford and Wessex PSCs on 21 July, and will look at Quality Improvement approaches with MatNeo. Email Nanette to find out more.