MaternityHealth Education England’s Maternity Safety Training Fund programme has distributed over £8 million across all NHS trusts with maternity services in England to deliver training to improve maternity safety.and support the vision of making NHS maternity services among the safest in the world.
Some 136 NHS trusts, including all 134 acute trusts with maternity units, have now received funding to implement packages of multi-disciplinary training to impact key patient safety improvement areas of maternity team leadership, multi-professional team working and communication, human factors training, fetal growth and monitoring, plus midwifery, obstetric and cardiotocography (CTG) skills and drills.
Trusts were invited to apply for funding in 2016 and the response from service providers and partners in applying to make maternity services safer through education and training has been excellent, as well as the response from training providers to meet demand for course places. Thank you to all applicants and regional experts who worked hard to prepare and assess training plans. I am delighted that all NHS maternity trusts have been awarded an allocation from the fund to progress their training and safety improvements, helping to make maternity services safer for mothers and babies, and enhance their care experience.”
Lisa Bayliss-Pratt, Director of Nursing and Deputy Director of Education and Quality, Health Education England (HEE)
Due to the high level of interest, the total funding requested by all applications exceeded the available fund of £8 million by 25%. The Midlands and East, London and South East, North and South regions were given a proportional allocation from the fund to distribute across NHS trusts. Training plans were assessed against eligibility and assessment criteria in the application form, taking into account care quality ratings, staff and patient cohorts, improvement needs, value for money and previous funding received.
Innovative approaches to maternity safety training included developing training programmes in-house, developing community training hubs and partnership working between providers and commissioners to deliver training across local Sustainability and Transformation Planning (STP) footprints, as well as developing maternity champions in ambulance services and emergency maternity care support.
Every trust receiving funding has committed to key actions to improve safety, including developing maternity safety improvement plans to be approved and monitored by trust boards, and appointing maternity safety champions. Trusts will also be linking in with quality and safety improvement programmes and resources across the NHS.
Working with the national Maternity Transformation Programme partners, HEE is supporting the multi-professional training recommendations from the 2016 National Maternity Review report: Better Births – Improving outcomes for maternity services in England and ensuring maternity safety education and training materials are available for maternity units across England.
HEE has committed to ensure that training supports a culture of continuous learning and improvement in safe services, with a focus on reducing the rates of stillbirths, neonatal and maternity deaths and other adverse outcomes such as sepsis and intrapartum brain injuries. This funding supports the ambition to make NHS maternity services among the safest in the world and reduce the number of stillbirths, neonatal deaths, maternal deaths and brain injuries that occur during or soon after birth by 20% by 2020 and by 50% by 2030.
Further information on the funding awards and training areas for individual NHS trusts is included in the Maternity Safety Training Fund outcomes table available to download from this page.
Maternity safety training commitments
Every NHS trust receiving funding must:
- Appoint obstetric and maternity safety champions with a direct link from frontline to board level
- Use the Perinatal Mortality Review Tool to standardise perinatal mortality reviews (once available)
- Report into the maternity services data set and other key data sets by 2018, prioritising early submission where possible
- Take part in the National Maternity Quality Improvement programme (once available)
- Make appropriate links with safety improvement programmes run by Sign up to Safety and NHS Litigation Authority
- Use the NHS Improvement resource pack to help teams avoid unnecessary separation of mother and babies (once available)
- Implement (at least 2 of the 4 elements of) the NHS England Saving Babies’ Lives Safer Care Bundle
- Develop a maternity safety improvement plan, approved at board level.
Training programmes are due to be completed by March 2018. HEE will commission an independent evaluation to assess how NHS trusts have improved quality and safety within maternity services and the wider impact for mothers and babies, families and the maternity workforce.