New initiative aims to improve maternity services through patient feedback

Maternity services have been invited to bid for money from a new Challenge Fund aimed at finding innovative ways to use patient feedback to improve services.

Emails with full details have gone out to chief executives of all trusts inviting them to put in their bids to be among the two to four projects that will get funding for their initiative from the £195,000 available.

The #MatExp Challenge Fund was created by NHS England at the request of Ben Gummer, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health.  His Care Quality portfolio includes improvement initiatives such as the Friends and Family Test and other insight work involving patient feedback.  He takes a particular interest in improving maternity services.

The Fund aims to explore innovative ways to make better use of patient insight to deliver improved services.  It is not about further collections of data but about finding new ways to use the feedback that trusts are already collecting to generate change and add value for patients.

The initiative aligns with the National Maternity Review, chaired by Baroness Julia Cumberlege, which has published wide-ranging proposals designed to make care safer and give women greater control and more choices.  It also fits with NHS England’s ongoing agenda to ensure the NHS makes better use of data to deliver improvements for patients.

The Challenge Fund builds on the work of the London Maternity Strategic Clinical Network who have tested and implemented a range of resources and tools to engage families and professionals in working together to use insight to improve experiences of maternity care, using social media to spread good practice via the hashtag #MatExp.

The closing date for applications is 11 March and the successful applicants will be notified on 17 March.

Please send any queries to the Insight and Feedback Unit at