Maternity safety resources

Following our letter of 14 December 2020 in response to Ockenden Report, we are now publishing below the supporting documentation referred to in the letter:

Assessment and Assurance Tool: We have devised this tool to support providers to assess their current position against the 7 Immediate and Essential Actions (IEAs) in the Ockenden Report and provide assurance of effective implementation to their boards, Local Maternity System and NHS England and NHS Improvement regional teams.

Implementing a revised perinatal quality surveillance model: In order to proactively identify trusts who require support before serious issues arise, a new quality surveillance model seeks to provide for consistent and methodical oversight of all services, specifically including maternity services. The model has also been developed to gather ongoing learning and insight, to inform improvements in the delivery of perinatal services.

Core Competency Framework: In collaboration with national maternity partner organisations, the Maternity Transformation Programme has led on the development of a Core Competency Framework to address known variation in training and competency assessment and ensure that training to address significant areas of harm are included as minimum core requirements for every maternity and neonatal service.

Transforming Maternity Safety: A resource pack to support improvement in maternity and neonatal services in England has been developed to ensure that everyone involved in leading or providing maternity and neonatal care fully understands their role in delivering personal and safe care for women, babies and their families. We have modelled the guide on the three primary drivers of Insight, Involvement and Improvements for safety as set out in the NHS Patient Safety Strategy.

Non Executive role descriptor: In line with recommendations from the Ockenden Review, the board-level safety champion role should be supported by a non-executive director. In trusts where this role is currently being undertaken by an exec lead, a non-exec must be appointed in addition and the two should work together to ensure a seamless leadership function. The role descriptor sets out the key responsibilities of the non -executive director in supporting the Board safety champion.

Board measures: Boards are encouraged to ask themselves whether they really know that mothers and babies are safe in their maternity units and how confident they are that the best quality care is being provided in their organisation. We expect boards to robustly assess and challenge the assurances provided and have developed a dashboard with a minimum set of measures from which trusts should build a local dashboard.