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Midwives' evaluation of their role in crowdsourcing activities to improve the maternity experience: part 1

02 June 2019
8 min read
Volume 27 · Issue 6


This is the first of two articles introducing crowdsourcing as a tool that offers creative solutions to address everyday challenges in maternity care. In this first article, crowdsourcing is defined and discussed, demonstrating how it can be used to discover many relatively low-cost ideas to improve maternity services. By engaging service users in crowdsourcing activities, quality improvement is shared and focused on issues that emerge from practice. This process has the potential to generate more innovative ways to improve maternity services and women's experiences of care. In the second article, the discussion will centre on a service evaluation project that studied midwives' involvement in a workshop as part of a quality improvement project.

Quality in healthcare services has been a contentious subject over the past decade. Recent reports have highlighted previously unacceptable poor practice in failing NHS Trusts (Francis, 2013; Kirkup, 2015), and as a result, service users' expectations are high. The fundamental element in quality of care in the NHS is the experience of the service user (Granville, 2006; Care Quality Commission (CQC), 2016; Crowe and Sharma, 2017). Maternity care relies on the experiences of women and their families to improve services and recognise problems (Wenzel and Jabbal, 2016). Some service users have become experts in how healthcare should be delivered (Blunt, 2014) and have even influenced and redesigned local, regional and national policy through their persistence on social media (Newburn, 2017).

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