A great new initiative in Royal Surrey’s Maternity theatres is boosting safety and patient confidence for new mums.

All theatre staff and midwives in the theatres are now wearing scrub caps with their job titles clearly marked on them. Birth partners and students and visitors are also clearly identifiable through wearing disposable caps with their name and roles written on in marker pen.

The new caps reduce the risk of communication errors by ensuring that every team member is immediately identifiable. Patient feedback has been overwhelmingly positive with mums saying that they feel much more secure knowing who is in the room with them.

Obstetric Theatre Sister Sarah McHugh suggested the innovation after hearing about the initiative which was pioneered by Australian anesthetist Rob Hackett and popularised via the Twitter hashtag #theatrecapchallenge.

“The birth of a baby is a momentous, intimate, sometimes nerve wracking occasion,” said Sarah. “Maternity theatres can be noisy, busy places and mums and their birth partners say they feel much comfortable knowing who they can ask questions of, instead of being surrounded by nameless faces behind masks.”

Sarah, who is the SCReaM champion for the Maternity Unit, introduced #theatrecapcallenge as part of a quality and safety improvement initiative. The unit is now planning to order caps for all staff showing their names and job titles.

The initiative has generated a lot of interest across the hospital with visitors reporting that it had reduced the time that it took to locate the correct member of staff to access information

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