Introduction Genital Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) can be transmitted in the perinatal period with the potential for serious and devastating consequences for the fetus/infant. Transmission from mother to infant most commonly occurs due to exposure during delivery (85 – 90%). Early 2014, the team caring for women with Infectious Diseases in pregnancy identified that women, with a history of genital HSV or an outbreak in pregnancy, were an at-risk group without a specific care pathway, often with differing clinical decisions regarding their care.
Methods A retrospective audit was undertaken to ascertain adherence to a newly introduced referral pathway for pregnant women who gave a history of genital herpes booking into a tertiary referral Maternity Hospital, August 2015 – August 2016.
Results Our initial audit over a 9 month period demonstrated that there was an overall deficit in knowledge regarding the new referral pathway. The 9 month audit showed that only 13 of 49 (26%) of women were referred to specialist services at any time during their pregnancy. Our subsequent audit showed 54% of women were referred for specialist consult in the period following re-education; a large improvement in awareness of our referral pathway.
Discussion Audit of practice and in particular following an introduction of a new care pathway, is an essential tool for demonstrating compliance as well as highlighting gaps which require addressing. Education targeting the team of midwives who ascertain women’s history on booking into the maternity services, has improved referrals as per our 4 month follow-up audit.
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