The Safer Maternity Care Initiative

Posted by Patricia Wakeford on
Pregnancy, safe maternity care

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It was interesting to read and announcement on the Gov.UK website this month from the Department of Health that plans are in place to improve maternity care, provide more training to staff and to provide more funding to enable that training.

This all sounds excellent and exactly what should have been in place in any event. Similar initiatives may well have been in place in different trusts. However, a National initiative always has more power to promote change.

£8,000,000 has been allocated to improve maternity safety. Apparently, this should allow £40,000 per trust in England for safety training.

The plan includes various actions to target different areas. One of these is the already successful PROMPT scheme (PRactical Obstetric Multi-Professional Training) pioneered by Professor Tim Draycott. This is a way of supporting best practice for midwives and obstetric clinicians. This project was funded by the Maternity Innovation Fund which provided funding for innovative ideas/projects.

There is a scheme to promote interaction between trusts to share ideas. A reduction in stillbirths was the outcome from a similar scheme in Scotland.

The successful Air Accident Investigation Branch has been used as a template for a Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch which is meant to be up and running in 2017.

Our Chance is another initiative to half the number of stillbirths, neonatal deaths, brain injuries and maternal deaths that occur shortly after birth by 2030. It is a way of health professionals and patients working together to try and improve outcomes.

This all sounds really good and a great way to improve maternity care and outcomes going forward. I look forward to hearing more about this in the future. As a clinical negligence solicitor I see the terrible trauma that families go through after a child is diagnosed with cerebral palsy or Erbs palsy and other conditions following a difficult delivery. Parents who lose a child will never get over it. If these innovations can reduce the number of such events and improve outcomes; I will be very pleased.

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About the Author

Photograph of Patricia Wakeford

Patricia is a Senior Associate, in our Clinical Negligence team, and is also a qualified midwife with many years of experience working in the NHS.

Patricia Wakeford
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023 8085 7310

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