A GROUNDBREAKING maternity app which allows pregnant woman to instantly message and get advice from midwives, is being rolled out at Southend Hospital.

The app, called Maternity Direct, will provide mums-to-be who are booked to give birth at Basildon, Southend and Mid Essex hospitals. with seven-day-a-week access to registered midwifery staff, who they can chat with and receive up-to-date information from in the very comfort of their homes.

With the app, those expecting will have access to such vital help even through the Covid-19 pandemic, without the need of an appointment or phone call.

This useful tool was launched to help reduce the number of non-urgent appointments, saving women time while protecting appointments for those who require closer monitoring.

Teams from Basildon Hospital partnered with software developer Acadiant Limited to create the app, which is now being rolled out at Southend and Mid Essex hospitals this week.

Chief nursing officer Diane Sarkar, said: “This truly is a fantastic innovation which supports women throughout their pregnancy, not only providing a more streamlined service to them but also improving the delivery of care by staff.

“Hospital and Acadiant staff have worked so hard developing this app, so it is fantastic to see such positive feedback.”

Since August more than 5,000 women have used Maternity Direct to ask questions or seek reassurance from midwives at Basildon Hospital, with nearly 80 per cent of women chatting saying they would have used another NHS service if the app wasn’t available.

One mum, who used the app during her pregnancy. said: “I was approached to test the app at an antenatal clinic. I always used Facebook for non-urgent queries and, as midwives are very busy, I didn’t always get an instant reply. This app is much better and is a great way to connect quickly with my midwife. I recommend this app to all mums-to-be.”

To get access to the app, fill in a maternity self-referral form at https://bit.ly/2SGm4lr