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National Maternity and Perinatal Audit report published.

News from the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP)

New report and interactive portal provide data for clinicians, women and families, commissioners and policymakers to enable quality improvement The National Maternity and Perinatal Audit (NMPA) today publishes a major clinical report that identifies areas of good practice and opportunities for improvement in the care of women and babies in maternity services across Britain.

View report here

Commissioned by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP) as part of the National Clinical Audit Programme, the NMPA is the largest quality improvement programme for maternity and neonatal services in the world. It is a landmark collaboration between the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), the Royal College of Midwives (RCM), the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). While the vast majority of women have a safe birth, and despite on-going improvements in the safety of maternity services, findings show that variation exists in a number of clinical processes and outcomes in maternity care. Some of the variation found will be due to differences in data quality, completeness and the risk profile of women being seen in different units. This data will enable women, clinicians, commissioners and policy makers to evaluate care given locally and nationally and use it to drive further improvements in the quality of maternity services. The report includes data from 149 of 155 NHS trusts and boards that provide maternity care in England, Scotland and Wales and are based on electronic records of 696,738 births between April 2015 and March 2016.

The key clinical findings include:

• Major obstetric haemorrhage, a leading cause of maternal illness, occurs in around 1 in 40 women, but in some units the rate observed was as high as 1 in 20.

• Third and fourth degree tears, also known as obstetric anal sphincter injuries, occur in around 1 in 30 vaginal births, but in some units it was reported in up to 1 in 15 vaginal births. Severe tears are a major complication of vaginal birth and increase risk of incontinence.

• Hospitals reported that about 1 in 80 babies require additional support in the minutes after birth, as indicated by a low Apgar score – a measure of the baby’s breathing and circulation – in some units this was as high as 1 in 30.

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Mandy Forrester, Head of Quality and Standards, Royal College of Midwives, said: “Every day, midwives enter a large amount of electronic information about the women they care for. This report is the first to make use of this data source on a national scale. More investment in our maternity services, and crucially an investment in more midwives and resources is needed to improve data quality. These initial results, however, identify opportunities for sharing good practice, as well as highlight increasing pressures on the service from demographic changes.”

Related events:

Achieving the 5 Year Forward View in Perinatal Mental Health Services
Monday 15 January 
De Vere West One Conference Centre, London

The Maternity Transformation Programme: Learning from the early adopters and pioneers
Monday 5 February 
De Vere West One Conference Centre, London

29 November 2017


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