£2.45 million funding to improve maternity care and safety

on 05 July 2021

£2.45 million will be funded to improve the maternity care and safety of women and babies in an announcement by Maternity Safety Minister Nadine Dorries.

£2 million of this funding will go towards research and testing into the best ways to spot early warnings of babies in distress. This research will be conducted by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), in collaboration with the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) and The Healthcare Improvement Studies Institute at the University of Cambridge.

£449,000 will go towards developing a new workforce planning tool for NHS maternity staff to ensure patients get the medical support they need.

Maternity Safety Minster, Nadine Dorries, said: “I am determined to make sure as many mums as possible can go home with healthy and happy babies in their arms.

“This new programme, which we’re supporting with over £2.45 million, aims to spot warning signs earlier and save lives, preventing families and their babies from facing the horrific ordeal of a life-changing brain injury, and will help us deliver on our ambition to halve brain injuries during birth by 2025.

“Having the right maternity staff in the right place at the right time means they can learn from one another, give the best care for mums and babies and build a safe and positive environment for both staff and pregnant women in maternity teams across the country.”

The ABC review is due to be conducted later this year with the aim to develop an agreed approach for how staff monitor the condition of the baby during labour by testing different approaches to monitoring babies during labour, surveying maternity staff to see how they currently identify when a baby is in distress during labour, interviewing women and their birth partners on these varying approaches based on their personal experiences, agreeing a clear process on monitoring babies and record reading during labour to determine when to escalate the case to a multi-disciplinary maternity team, and developing an agreed approach to delivering babies via caesarean section when there are complications with the baby’s position.