NICE publishes quality standard on intrapartum care

on 03 March 2020

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published a quality standard on intrapartum care for women who have existing medical conditions during labour and birth.

The NICE quality standard outlines priority areas for quality improvement in health and social care and provides information on measuring progress when the improvements have been implemented.

Endorsed by NHS England, the quality standard outlines the following priority areas for improvement:

  • Pregnant women with existing medical conditions or obstetric complications should be involved in their personalised intrapartum care plan
  • They should be cared for by a multidisciplinary team and led by a named healthcare professional
  • Pregnant women with heart disease should have their intrapartum risk assessed regularly
  • Women in labour with sepsis should have an immediate review by a senior clinical decision maker and receive antibiotics within 1 hour if indicated
  • Women who present in labour with no antenatal care should have an obstetric assessment and medical examination, as well as an examination of their medical, psychological and social history.

The quality standard states that the role of the midwife and healthcare professionals “should provide the woman with information about, and opportunities to discuss her medical conditions or obstetrics complications and discuss how they might affect intrapartum care for her and her baby.”

The existing medical conditions that apply to this quality standard are heart disease, asthma (dependent on severity), bleeding disorders, neurological conditions, obesity (BMI 30 or over) and acute kidney injury or chronic kidney disease.

More information about the quality standard ‘Intrapartum care: existing medical conditions and obstetric complications” can be found on the WICE website here.