Wessex Maternity and Neonatal Learning System is an improvement forum that meets regularly to focus on patient safety in maternity and neonatal care, with a common goal to reduce avoidable harm.
Learning System members include individuals, organisations and networks across Wessex; midwives, neonatologists, obstetricians and key people within the Maternity Clinical Networks and Local Maternity Systems.
Recognising the value of existing networks and groups, both regionally and nationally, our aim is to:
* Provide a regional forum to profile Quality Improvement and patient safety in support of the Local Maternity Systems in Wessex.
* Align thinking and opportunity, working together as one system.
* A space for providers and stakeholders, including families, to connect and network with each other.
* An opportunity to share and learn about quality improvement projects in Wessex, ideas, success & challenges.
* Support for system level improvement to reduce duplication and share resources.
* Information sharing with other maternity networks to improve communication and understanding.
* Reduction of variation to increase standardisation of care, where possible.
* Development of Quality Improvement skills to increase capability.
* Offer access to the PSC LIFE platform to support project specific delivery and national sharing and connection.
Examples of local improvement projects that have already had an impact on maternity care can be found in the resources section.
We are keen to engage with teams and individuals with an interest in maternity and neonatal safety and if you would like to showcase and share your improvement work we would like to hear from you.
Please contact Lesley Mackenzie, Patient Safety Programme Manager on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Below are a number of resources that may be of use when undertaking quality improvement in maternity and neonatal services.
Avoiding Term Admissions Into Neonatal units (Atain) e-learning programme
This Atain e-learning resource(*) will help healthcare professionals involved in the care of newborns, both in the hospital and community settings, to improve outcomes for babies, mothers and families through the safer delivery of care.
It is one of the outputs from the Atain programme (an acronym for ‘avoiding term admissions into neonatal units’) to reduce avoidable causes of harm that can lead to infants born at term (i.e. ≥ 37+0 weeks gestation) being admitted to a neonatal unit.
The e-learning software addresses the key learning needs identified through Atain, with a focus on four key clinical areas:
- respiratory conditions
- asphyxia (perinatal hypoxia–ischaemia)
As the Atain programme also identified the impact of mother baby separation, a specific session has been included to raise awareness of the importance of keeping mother and baby together.
The Atain webpage includes a short welcome video by Dr Janet Rennie, Consultant Neonatologist at UCH London introducing the Atain e-learning programme and explaining why it is so important for everyone to work together to prevent avoidable admission.
(*) This resource is an e-Learning For Healthcare (eL-H) programme developed by the Atain workstream in partnership with NHS Improvement and NHS Health Education England.
Over 1200 women share their experience of local maternity services across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight (including Southampton and Portsmouth)
More than 1200 women and their birthing partners have shared their experience of the maternity system across Southampton, Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Portsmouth.
The views were collected by Wessex Voices (a collaboration between local Healthwatch and NHS England) who were asked to carry out a survey, to understand the experiences of mothers and birth partners using maternity services in the last year.
Healthwatch Hampshire, on behalf of Wessex Voices, worked with local maternity and Health Visiting services to gather feedback that will help commissioners and maternity service providers ensure that women have an informed and empowered choice through their pregnancy and birth.
The survey is in support of the national Better Births report recommendations; the report of the National Maternity Review that was published in February 2016 and set out a clear vision: for maternity services across England.
The 1200 views were collected from nine child development clinics across the region and through social media. The views were summarised into the following nine key areas:
• Make time - Provide clear and easy access to information and support at all times
• Ensure that women have access to consistent services at times that suit them
• Clear communication for referrals - Particularly for referrals related to raised BMI
• Manage expectations – Ensure all communication is open and transparent, particularly when discussing birth plans and options
• Improve diagnosis and treatment of tongue tie – Provide further training for staff in this area
• Free antenatal classes for all – Ensure that everyone that would like to access antenatal classes has the ability to do so
• Improve breastfeeding support – Provide specialist support at easy to access locations across the region
• Improve communication – Use consistent and easy to understand terminology and make sure there is easy to access appropriate information
Healthwatch Hampshire’s Engagement Officer, Rachel Bullock said: “We are really pleased to have reached so many people willing to discuss their experiences of local maternity services. This range of views provides a valuable resource that will help to improve the maternity experience for future mums and their families”.
The full report can be downloaded from the Resources zone on the right hand side of this webpage.
NHS Improvement-Maternal and Neonatal Health Safety Collaborative
A three-year programme led by NHS Improvement to support improvement in the quality and safety of maternity and neonatal units across England. The aim is to reduce the rates of maternal deaths, stillbirths, neonatal deaths and brain injuries that occur during or soon after birth by 20% by 2020 and 50% by 2030.
This national ambition requires all NHS trusts (plus independent providers) who provide maternity services in England to make measurable improvements in safety outcomes for women, their babies and families by exchanging ideas and best practice.
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynacologists
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists works to improve health care for women everywhere, by setting standards for clinical practice, providing doctors with training and lifelong learning, and advocating for women’s health care worldwide.
The RCOG is committed to advancing the science and practice of obstetrics and gynaecology. As part of this work, they undertake national audits and other quality improvement projects on a range of topics in women’s health care through the Lindsay Stewart Centre for Audit and Clinical Informatics.
The Lindsay Stewart Centre is running the following projects:
- Each Baby Counts.
- National Maternity and Perinatal Audit.
- Third- and Fourth-degree Tears Project (in collaboration with the Royal College of Midwives)
The Royal College of Midwives
The Royal College of Midwives is a professional organisation for midwives. They provide clinical guidance and information, and learning opportunities with a broad range of events, conferences and online resources.
NHS England-Better Births
Improving outcomes of maternity services in England. A Five Year Forward View for Maternity Care.
A vision for maternity services across England is for them to become safer, more personalised, kinder, professional and more family friendly; where every woman has access to information to enable her to make decisions about her care; and where she and her baby can access support that is centred around their individual needs and circumstances. The aim is for staff to be supported to deliver care which is women centred, working in high performing teams, in organisations which are well led and in cultures which promote innovation, continuous learning, and break down organisational and professional boundaries.
NHS England-Implementing Better Births
A resource pack for Local Maternity Systems
The pack provides advice on how to implement the key deliverables
for Local Maternity Systems and enablers which may be required to support the
deliverables including links to key resources.
The pack will:
- Recap what Better
Births says about the issues.
- Explains what the national programme is doing to provide support.
- Offers a summary of what Local Maternity Systems might need to do and gives some pointers for how they might go about it.
NHS England-Saving Babies Lives
The Saving Babies’ Lives Care Bundle addresses variation between organisations by bringing together four key elements of care based on best available evidence and practice in order to help reduce stillbirth rates.
British Association of Perinatal Medicine
The aim of the association is to support newborn babies and their families by providing services that help all those involved in perinatal practice to improve standards of perinatal care in the British Isles. The BAPM Framework for Practice for the detection and management of term neonatal hypoglycaemia was published in May 2017.
For further information: http://www.bapm.org/publications/
Reducing admission of full term babies to neonatal units
The aim is to reduce harm leading to avoidable admissions to neonatal units for babies born at or after 37 weeks. It has been identified that over 20% of admissions of full term babies to neonatal units could be avoided. By providing services and staffing models that keep mother and baby together and thus reduce the harm caused by separation.
All maternity and neonatal services are encouraged to work together to identify babies whose admission to a neonatal unit could be avoided and to promote understanding of the importance of keeping mother and baby together when safe to do so.
Three Ps in a Pod
A poster was also produced as part of the Preventing Maternal Deaths Project, titled Three Ps in a Pod. The poster highlights the main causes of maternal death and provides advice for assessing pregnant and post-partum women who are feeling unwell. The posters were distributed to all A&E departments and medical assessment units in the UK. Download and share the poster by clicking on the link below.