A PROJECT that allows women in north Cumbria to be the first in the country to have access to digital maternity notes has won two awards.

The maternity information system went live on April 1, and enables pregnant women to have their care record in the palm of their hand. Via the maternity app they can track their journey, and easily access information about their pregnancy and baby’s development.

The team from North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust (NCIC), which operates maternity services at the West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven and Carlisle's Cumberland Infirmary, attended the prestigious APM Project Management Awards in London on Monday night.

The implementation of the information system was supported by the project management office who entered the awards under the ‘social project of the year’ category.

They calculated that the project saves 15.2 tonnes on CO2 emissions from the environment every year, thanks to a reduction in 1.4m sheets of paper per year.

Beating off competition from high calibre industry, the team also then went on to win the overall project of the year.

Julie Haigh, digital midwife at NCIC, received the awards with colleagues from the project management office.

She said: “It’s just a huge honour, we had some really tough competition.

"The judges told us how impressed they were with our project management office and how much energy they felt from the maternity teams.

"Our success is only possible because of the clinical commitment to improving communication and safety for the women in north Cumbria.”

Mark Jones, chief information officer for the North Cumbria Health & Care System, said: “It is a wonderful achievement for NCIC and shows what can be done when projects are not just implemented by information technology teams but are people-shaped, clinically-led and digitally-enabled.

"To win social project of the year would have been fantastic on its own for the great benefits it has given the women of north Cumbria, but to also win overall project of the year in such a strong field of private and public sector organisations is truly outstanding.

"It is so positive that such recognition has been given to our Digital Midwife, our maternity service and our digital teams.”

The first baby born using entirely digital maternity notes in north Cumbria was born in July at the West Cumberland Hospital.