Nottinghamshire maternity services go live with language barrier aid app

Published: 9-Apr-2024

Maternity teams across Nottinghamshire are now using CardMedic, which provides interpreting and communication support for new families and staff

All staff from the Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Local Maternity and Neonatal System (LMNS) can now use CardMedic, a digital app designed to help support staff caring for patients where there is a language barrier. 

Using clinically interpreted scripts for use in healthcare conversations, midwives, anaesthetists, obstetricians, nurses, physiotherapists and reception staff can support better communication with patients.

The app is available for use at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust and Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, where 12,000 babies are delivered each year.

Patients with additional communication needs make up nearly 50% of the population, and language and communication barriers can have an impact on their experience, understanding of information and communication between families and professionals.

CardMedic provides clinicians with an additional resource to improve communication barriers

The app supports those with additional needs, such as visual or cognitive impairments, and can provide information in ReadAloud and EasyRead formats.

On the occasions that staff have problems accessing interpretation services and experience communication issues with new mothers and their families, CardMedic can be used to address these occurrences.

With easy access to clinical information in multiple languages, staff can be confident they’re having the right conversations in a timely manner with new and expectant families.

While the app is primarily used to support clinical conversations about care, the LMNS is exploring how else it can be used to improve overall patient experience.

Siobhan Buxton, Maternity Commissioning Manager at Nottinghamshire Integrated Care Board, said: “By supporting clinical conversations, CardMedic will help us reduce healthcare inequalities, support existing interpretation teams and improve the patient experience with enhanced support.”

The ICB is publishing the app on its own app store

“We will also explore the use of CardMedic for non-clinical conversations, such as meal choices and building a rapport between staff, patients and families, with the aim of improving their overall experience of care,” Buxton concluded.

Further, the ICB is publishing the app on its own app store, which features a range of clinically validated software for health and care staff across the region.

Once caregivers have downloaded the app, they will have access to over 1500 pre-written scripts in multiple languages and formats that cover most clinical conversations.

The LMNS is undertaking a full evaluation of the impact of CardMedic over the next year. If the app proves popular with health and care staff, it could be made available across the ICB region.

Dr Rachael Grimaldi, co-founder and Chief Executive of CardMedic, said: “Improving maternity and neonatal care is a national priority, and we couldn’t be happier that CardMedic is being used to help maternity staff bridge gaps in service provision. Everyone deserves to access equitable care, irrespective of their language, cognition, or background, and we’re excited to see how CardMedic helps to make a difference for families in Nottinghamshire.”

The app is now in use at more than 20 NHS organisations, covering over 10% of England’s integrated care systems.

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