rcmA Barnsley Hospital Midwife has been shortlisted for the 2015 Royal College of Midwifery’s (RCM) Philips AVENT National Award for Innovation in Midwifery.

Sarah Stables used the social networking site Facebook, to set up her ‘Wardbook’ to be used by midwifery staff at the hospital to communicate important messages across the busy department.

Recognised by the RCM, the private group is now used by over 120 members, including the Trust’s Head of Midwifery, Specialist Midwives, Supervisor of Midwives, University Link Lecturers, Ward Managers, and Community Midwives. It is also open to student Midwives, Support Workers and staff who may be on maternity leave or on sick leave.

Sarah said: “It’s fantastic to be recognised for the innovative work myself and the midwifery department are currently engaged with. Our Wardbook is a fantastic way to communicate across the department and one that has worked really well.

“We have weekly updates from our Head of Midwifery which is really well received as it gives all the unit an opportunity to ask questions in real-time, when they may not see the Head very often in their normal day-to-day work.  Wardbook is also used as a virtual notice board and is easy, efficient and, most importantly, open to all to use.”

Wardbook takes advantage of its Facebook setting, linking to staff members’ personal accounts and is easily accessible on mobile devices.

Director of Nursing and Quality at Barnsley Hospital, Heather McNair, said: “We are immensely proud of Sarah, and the innovative work being championed by the Midwifery department. Better communication by our staff leads to better patient care, and using a social media tool such as Wardbook is an inventive and modern step forward for the Trust.”

The RCM Awards take place on Tuesday 3 March 2015.