Qi project: Bromley Health Visiting Service

Improving the uptake of antenatal appointments

Project lead:

Sarah Stilwell, Professional Development Lead

Reason for project:

The focus of this project was to identify ways of increasing the uptake of antenatal appointments by pregnant mothers. Antenatal contact with our Health visitors is an important service that helps to support positive mental health, whilst developing mother and baby bonding.

Our aims:

  • To increase the uptake of antenatal appointments by pregnant mothers from 7% to 60%
  • To understand how we could offer more choice to pregnant mothers and improve engagement
  • To review the way we book antenatal appointments.

What we did:

Originally pregnant women were sent a letter by the Bromley Health Visiting service inviting them to book an antental appointment by letter. However, the uptake of antenatal appointments by women was very low. During June 2018 only 7% of pregnant mothers received an antenatal appointment compared to the expected target of 95%.

To explore ways of increasing uptake of antenatal appointments by mothers a series of tests were carried out:

Test 1: To improve awareness of the health visiting service, posters were designed to advertise the service.

Test 2: Pregnant mothers with health concerns or increased support needs were prioritised for appointments and contacted directly by the health visitor.

Test 3: Telephone appointments were piloted to find out whether mothers were happy to speak to us over the phone.

What we learnt

By testing new ideas throughout August 2018 we have increased the uptake of antenatal appointments by 10%. Positive feedback was received from both staff and pregnant women about telephone appointments.

By reviewing our booking system we identified room for improvement.

Future plans:

We are extending the telephone appointments pilot to obtain more feedback and standardise the quality of calls.

We will also continue to think about how we can offer more choice to mums in Bromley.

We will continue to generate and test new ideas to improve the uptake of appointments.

Bromley Health Visiting

Back to the Projects page