National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE)
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NICE launches training pack for maternity settings

NICE has launched a training package to support and reinforce the skills and competencies of midwives, health visitors and social workers when raising sensitive issues with pregnant women who face difficult social circumstances.

Women facing complex social problems, such as those who experience domestic abuse or those who misuse alcohol or drugs, can be deterred from attending antenatal appointments, including booking appointments, because of the perceived negative attitude of healthcare staff.

It is critical, therefore, to ensure that these women are encouraged to engage with maternity services so that appropriate care pathways and support can be provided.

To help with this, NICE commissioned the University of Leeds to develop a new training resource to help health and social care professionals put the NICE guidance on pregnancy and complex social factors into practice. It can also apply to other published NICE guidance which requires staff to raise sensitive issues.

The training package consists of a training plan, PowerPoint slides, and video clips which can be used by the trainer to plan their sessions.

The training plan recommends two formats for training: a full session (for up to 3 hours) and a self-directed online session (for up to 1.5 hours).

The PowerPoint slide set is intended for use at the full session, which includes case scenarios with simulated patients (actors who are trained to depict a specific patient role).

In contrast, the self-directed session is designed to be completed by participants online in their own time, ideally as a follow-up session for staff who have completed the full session.

Julie Royce, NICE Implementation Support Associate Director, said: "We know that appropriate education and training can help staff better understand the issues faced by women with complex social factors, and how their own behaviour can affect them.

“These new NICE tools can be used to deliver training sessions which are complementary to mandatory training to help staff increase their confidence and reinforce the good communication skills they need to provide good quality care for these vulnerable women.”

In addition to commissioning this training resource, NICE has produced a range of other support tools to help implement this guidance, including a costing statement and data collection tools.



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