How was the review conducted?

You can read the Review’s Terms of reference here.

The maternity review panel established a number of working groups to take the review forward. These groups were made up of NHS staff, professional bodies and patient representatives, tasked with gathering solutions for improving maternity care in England. The work streams covered the following areas:

  • Models of care –to set out a range of sustainable service models, (drawing on national and international evidence) – covering the antenatal, intrapartum and postnatal periods- which are both safe and deliver the choices women want to make.
  • Choice – to describe the different choices that should be available to women and how to support and empower them, enabling them to balance their personal preferences with their individual risks.
  • Professional culture and accountability – to create a culture where professionals are trusted and support the provision of a personalised, family focussed, kind, safe and accountable  service.
  • Levers and incentives – to determine how best to use a range of existing and new levers and incentives across the system to drive new models of care, choice and professionalism.

As part of the review, Dr Bill Kirkup led the development of an assessment of the quality and variation in quality of maternity services in England, drawing on the range of available data as well as intelligence from the ground.  This informed the other work streams by providing them with insight into what services look like now, where services are exemplary, where they need improvement and what lies in between.  The assessment spanned all three dimensions of quality – clinical effectiveness, safety and experience

Finally, the review developed a detailed communications and engagement plan to ensure that the work was informed by a wide range of evidence. The review conducted a number of service visits across England and overseas and set up a series of regional drop-in events open to women, their families and advocates, providers and commissioners and anyone else who wanted to give their views on maternity services.