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Exciting time for sonographers to be increasing knowledge of multiple pregnancies #MUAM

24 October, 2018

Author: Alyson Chorley, Communications & Campaigns, Tamba - Twins and Multiple Births Association

Twins

Tamba’s Maternity Engagement (ME) project is entering its final six months; by April 2019, 30 maternity units across England will have participated in the quality improvement initiative.

Sonographers are a key part of the multi-disciplinary team as recommended in NICE Clinical Guideline 129.

The aim of ME is to explore the antenatal care landscape for multiple pregnancies and to test the hypothesis that increased adherence to the quality standards associated with NICE CG129, leads to significantly improved outcomes.

In July of this year Tamba published an interim report called NICE Works, which shared the key findings derived from initial baseline audits. These audits have found a correlation between greater adherence to NICEQS46 and improved clinical outcomes.

A recommendation of the NICE quality standards is to have an experienced sonographer as part of the multidisciplinary team. One aspect highlighted in the report was the barrier to units in having a specific named sonographer with experience of multiples and twins’ clinics. This may not simply be a logistical one, but can also be related to the directorate positioning and budget allocation. This is typically because sonographers are associated more closely with the radiography discipline and not the women's and children directorates where the antenatal care is generally situated.

The ME project has highlighted some great initiatives from participating units in overcoming barriers. One example involved a unit who obtained support from senior managers, enabling budget reallocation whilst physically situating the sonography staff members in the same location as the antenatal care team. This increased team cohesion and facilitated a twin's clinic.

Sonographer retention initiatives and midwife sonographers have also supported this area of development. One unit went further and not only developed a twin specific clinic but also invested in new equipment and has publicised the great work it has been doing.

Tamba has also seen an uptake in sonography staff visiting peer support units and existing twins’ clinics. This has been beneficial for all concerned and has also given an opportunity to see the Twin Pregnancy Growth Chart in use as well.  

A more detailed final report updating how these units have performed and the potential improvement as a result of their involvement, will be published in April 2019. It’s certainly an exciting time for sonographers to be increasing their knowledge of multiple pregnancies and for greater development of multi-disciplinary twins’ clinics across the country.

Tamba offers free resources, including videos, to meet the demand for CPD from multidisciplinary teams and to keep the flow of new research, information, and practice up to date.

Tamba has available a self-audit tool and are encouraging units to use this to see how the care for their multiple birth pregnancies aligns to NICE QS46. Please contact us for more information.

Tamba is the only organisation to provide this level of education about multiple pregnancies to health care providers free of charge.

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