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Case Study

Portsmouth Hospitals Increase Maternity Appointment Capacity with IA

33% increase in maternity appointments booked
Risk to mothers and babies minimized
£105K saved by not outsourcing pregnancy scans
"We had a huge problem around high-volume referrals for crucial appointments, impacting both safety and patient experience. Working with digital innovators and clinicians to build algorithms, we used automation technologies to read referrals, allocate appointments, update maternity records, and notify pregnant people of their appointments. Automation has been a revelation.""
Lynn Woolley Director of maternity services and midwifery Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust

Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust is proud to provide expert, compassionate care to 675,000 local residents. Pregnancy is a time when many patients appreciate a little extra compassion and care. After the National Health Service (NHS) of England published their Better Births report setting a clear vision for safer, more personalized maternity services across the country Portsmouth looked to a team of SS&C Blue Prism digital workers to help enhance their patients’ journey to parenthood.


NHS England aims to have each NHS Trust deliver safe, personalized, and professional maternity services. Recently, they introduced a national maternity transformation program to ensure that all families receive this type of top-notch care.

At Portsmouth Hospitals, the head of automation and innovation assembled a team of technologists and frontline healthcare providers to review the challenges faced by patients and staff and to develop a plan to ensure a smooth path from pregnancy to birth. One significant challenge was that midwives had to manually manage appointments and referrals, which took their time away from direct patient care and often meant patients waited longer for appointments. Depending on the pregnancy, this often six-to-eight-week wait could put the patient at risk.

Portsmouth sought a solution that would help improve patient safety by speeding up patients’ access to care.


To help meet these important goals, Portsmouth turned to an SS&C Blue Prism digital workforce for assistance with appointment bookings and referrals. Now, once a patient has attended an appointment, the digital workers automatically propose future appointments based on the patient’s due date and any necessary scans, tests, or office visits. Digital workers ensure the appointment is booked within 24-to-48 hours, so patients no longer need to wait weeks for appointments. They send appointment reminders via email and text, which has helped reduce the “did not attend” rate and has ensured midwives don’t have gaps in their appointment schedules. Digital workers are on alert if a patient or baby goes to the emergency room they’ll immediately notify the patient’s midwife or obstetrician to keep them informed of the patient’s care. 

Intelligent automation has helped the Trust minimize potential risks to pregnancy from delayed information and provided a real-time patient experience. They’ve increased appointment capacity by 33%, reduced staffing costs by £225,000, and prevented £105,000 of private scan outsourcing expenses each year. Digital workers have given 18,000 hours (about 2 years) back to staff, allowing them more time to focus on direct patient care. 

Next, the Trust plans to utilize its team of digital workers to automate the cancer treatment pathway, reduce the burden on staff to manually enter patient data, and improve patient outcomes.

Learn more about how Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust has transformed its maternity services with intelligent automation.

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