A country-wide consultation on maternity services was conducted in 2015, following an investigation at Morecambe Bay. The result was the Better Births report, which was published the following year. The review aimed to assess maternity services and consider how these should be developed to meet the changing needs of women and babies.

Women and their families, NHS staff and a range of other stakeholders were consulted as part of the Better Births review. The resulting recommendations centre on improving the safety of maternity services and giving women greater choice and control over their care.

The Maternity and Neonatal Safety Improvement Programme (MatNeoSIP) is led by the National Patient Safety Team and delivered by AHSN-hosted Patient Safety Collaboratives (PSCs). The MatNeoSIP supports the NHS Patient Safety Strategy.

Aim: The MatNeoSIP aims to reduce the rates of maternal and neonatal deaths, stillbirths and brain injuries that occur during or soon after birth by 50% by 2025 and contribute to the national ambition, set out in Safer Maternity Care, to reduce the national rate of preterm births from 8% to 6% by 2025.

It also looks to improve the safety and outcomes of maternal and neonatal care by reducing unwarranted variation and provide a high-quality healthcare experience for all women, babies, and families across maternity and neonatal care settings in England.

The MatNeoSIP has contributed to the national improvement ambition through a range of key activities, working with all 134 maternity and neonatal providers in England in partnership with Local Maternity and Neonatal Systems (LMNS), public health leads as well as commissioners and women and their families.

PSCs are involved in reducing inequalities in maternity care, co-producing services to ensure a variety of voices are heard, and creating safety-focused cultures in maternity units. Work builds on the success and learnings from the PReCePT (Prevention of Cerebal Palsy in PreTerm Labour) and PERIPrem (Perinatal Excellence to Reduce Injury in Preterm Birth) projects.

Key ambitions

  • To improve the optimisation and stabilisation of the preterm infant.
  • To improve the prevention, identification, escalation, and response (PIER) to maternal and neonatal deterioration.
  • Use safety culture insights for improved quality of care and inform local improvement plans.

National enquiry

To find out more about any of our national programmes, please complete this form.

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