The Midwifery Unit Self Assessment (MUSA) Website

The Midwifery Unit Self Assessment (MUSA) project provides a structured framework to guide and support the implementation, scale-up and continuous improvement of midwifery units in the United Kingdom and Europe.

The Midwifery Unit Self Assessment (MUSA) Website

Let’s Set The Scene

The Midwifery Unit Self Assessment (MUSA) project provides a structured framework to guide and support the implementation, scale-up and continuous improvement of midwifery units in the United Kingdom and Europe.

The MUSA framework is a set of evidence-based standards which has been developed as a partnership between City, University of London and the Midwifery Unit Network.

It is a self-assessment tool which enables Midwifery Units to benchmark themselves against the framework, identify areas for improvement, create a plan and implement it. They then come back and reassess, looking for any further opportunities for improvement.

Alongside the practical improvement programme, the MUSA team at the university runs ongoing research and evaluation to support the further development of the framework and the network of units using it.

Big Lemon was asked to create a public face for the MUSA framework, building a new website to support the impact and reach of the project. Leading on from this is a layered interactive portal for the framework to live and be used by the various organisations world-wide, including tracking and monitoring functionality.

The Challenge

Big Lemon needed to create an online home for the MUSA project and a space to host the framework document.

It was important to the credibility of the project that it was transparent about the team involved, how the framework has been developed and the academic research and publications that support it. Crucially, the website also provides a platform for health trusts and midwifery units to contact and connect with the MUSA team.

Also, it was important that the website reflected the view so the MUSA Advisory Group - key stakeholders who Big Lemon engaged through a co-production approach to ensure a collaborative outcome.

Big Lemon worked closely with the group to build an understanding of the complexity and nuance needed to make the tools transferable and accessible to a range of different UK NHS stakeholders and, more widely, to health services across Europe.

The site was also built as a platform with a second phase in mind - to create a portal for midwifery units to be able to complete the framework self assessment online.

The Tech Bit

  • The website needed to simplify the MUSA framework into something more digestible and user-friendly
  • The framework needed to be completely configurable via a Content Management System
  • The website was built and developed in Webflow

The Outcomes

Already, since the site launched in late 2022, more Trusts and Units have come through the website wanting to use the framework. Increasing the project’s reach through the online platform built by Big Lemon has helped to spread the word, increase the project’s reach and expand its impact.

Using the website as a starting point from which to build out the project’s social media presence has had an impact, creating spaces for people to share their experiences of the framework, process and project.

As MUSA is based on a university-funded research project, increasing the reach and number of users of the framework provides evidence of increased research impact, showing how academic research is directly engaging with the professional community in which it operates.

Having an established website and a strong online presence has also increased the credibility and legitimacy of the framework and helped to support wider implementation with larger regional networks in the UK and overseas.

Why Big Lemon?

The MUSA team described the whole process of the site development as a positive experience.

“We had a great first impression - loved the Big Lemon aesthetic! From our first meeting, they were really warm and great to work with. We were very aware that we’re not experts in this field and they were brilliant at absorbing the information we gave them to create the project that we needed. It was important to us in terms of aligning with our values that they were a certified BCorp too and that they clearly looked after their team."

Dr Cassandra Yuill, MUSA

Key to the success of the project was a supportive Big Lemon team who were able to understand the outcomes that were needed and interpret them into an appropriate technical solution. We were also able to bring their experience of working on other NHS projects.

Our co-production approach also mirrored the way in which the MUSA framework involves co-production to develop an improvement plan. It helped to have a common way of working and aligned with how MUSA wanted to engage its Advisory Group in the development process too.

We’ve been thrilled to hear that MUSA has had lots of great feedback on the look and function of the website - and that together, we’ve created something that people really want to engage with.

Phase 2 is already underway and we’re looking forward to our Discovery Session to map out the next phase of the project. It’s great that the team has engaged with the way in which we’ve supported them through the process - and also that the university continues to value and fund the project which will help us all to build on the project’s outcomes and the impact of the research.

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