Delivery suite assessment unit: auditing innovation in maternity triage
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KeywordsDelivery Suite Assessment Unit; DSAU; Antenatal admissions; Maternity triage; Antenatal care; Midwifery
A Delivery Suite Assessment Unit (DSAU) has been established at a large Northern teaching hospital. This was as a recommendation of ASQUAM (achieving sustainable quality in maternity) to reduce antenatal admissions to delivery suite and provide a more appropriate environment for women attending for antenatal or labour assessment. The DSAU has also provided an effective teaching environment where skills such as effective telephone triage, diagnosis of labour and care of women with pre-labour spontaneous rupture of membranes (SROM) have been developed by junior staff. The first twelve months' audit results indicate that the establishment of the DSAU has been successful in reducing antenatal admissions to delivery suite by increasing the transfers of clients home, rather than to the antenatal wards. This may reflect the confidence of the highly skilled midwives working in this environment and the confidence women feel about their ability to obtain prompt and accurate advice over the telephone.