Greater Manchester Smokefree Pregnancy Platform

The GM Smokefree Pregnancy platform helps programme participants quit smoking while also reducing the administrative burden on services.

Greater Manchester Health and Social Care (GMHSC) Partnership has had a smoke-free pregnancy programme in place since 2018. The primary aim of the programme is to support pregnant individuals in stopping smoking tobacco products. The programme involves specialist midwives working with those who smoke throughout their pregnancy to support their attempt to quit. If the patients are successful in quitting smoking, they receive a reward in the form of a voucher. If they are unsuccessful in their attempt, they are given repeated chances to attempt to reduce their tobacco consumption. Following enrolment into the programme, participants are supported by the specialist teams for up to a year.

Due to the detailed and long term patient engagement and monitoring involved, there is the need for large amounts of data to be stored and processed. The GMHSC Partnership required a way to transform their manual paper-based process to create a standardised platform for record-keeping and data collection. This enabled the management of the programme to be more consistent by creating a single space from which they could enter patient details and also report to the national NHS Digital stop smoking statistics. Health Innovation Manchester worked with the GMHSC Partnership to develop this digital platform to support the specialist midwives working on the programme.

The platform itself has many user-centric features:

Calendar — enables midwives to create and manage patient meetings; it has a special functionality that sends an alert around the time that the next patient visit should be scheduled. The calendar can also be accessed by all advisors across the region as many women will require to stop smoking support outside of the hospital they choose to give birth in, allowing for timely access to appointments when referrals are made and reducing duplication.

Patient Profiles — Midwives create patient profiles where they can record information regarding patients’ demographics. They can also create referrals based on which geographical area they reside, they can add multiple pregnancies, the expected delivery date, and other details relevant to providing safe and effective care. The profile is connected to the calendar and includes a list of planned and past appointments. Once the patient is no longer pregnant, midwives can add this information to their records and close the profile.

Health Status Indicators — the application monitors various key health indicators, such as CO readings. It also allows individuals who support the programme participants on their stop smoking journeys to be added to the profile and monitored.

Real-Time Data Reporting Dashboards — this feature enables the lead midwives to organise their teams and track their progress, gain learning and intelligence that will support future programme innovation.

Email & SMS Notifications — the application sends email and text message notifications about upcoming scheduled visits, enabling midwives to effectively manage their workflow. The platform also sends motivational messages encouraging them to maintain their quit attempt.

Offline Capability — certain system features were custom developed to work offline, making the application more convenient and easier to use when there is a lack of Wi-Fi connections, which can happen in more rural areas.

To create the GM Smokefree Pregnancy application, Objectivity leveraged the Mendix low-code platform, which was also used to deliver another Greater Manchester public sector solution. Doing so significantly accelerated the application’s time-to-market as the team was able to reuse some of the UI components they prepared as part of the other project.

The GMHSC Partnership can manage their work processes and patients’ needs more effectively as a result of the GM Smoke Free Pregnancy platform. The application has synchronised various programme activities whilst ensuring data and reporting consistency. This optimised the midwives’ work processes and enabled a greater number of pregnant individuals, who are seeking to cease smoking, to be enrolled in the programme.

For more information on the Smokefree Pregnancy Platform please visit this link

You can also read the full Objectivity case study here

Guy Lucchi Digital Innovation Director, Health Innovation Manchester and GMHSC Partnership -

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, pregnant women have been identified as being at a higher risk from COVID-19 and smokers are often more susceptible to respiratory illnesses, so it has been essential to continue to provide this specialist support. By working with the system to identify the needs and co-design a digital solution, we are enabling this important service to continue to help people quit smoking while also reducing the administrative burden maternity teams have faced in the past.”

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