Maternity challenge fund

Good patient experience is associated with improved patient outcomes. Research has consistently shown positive associations between patient and staff experience, patient safety, clinical outcomes and effectiveness. It is therefore crucial that the NHS not only collects feedback from patients and staff, but listens and acts on that feedback.

With this in mind, NHS England in partnership with the Department of Health has established a new challenge fund to stimulate the development of new and innovative feedback projects within NHS maternity services. The #MatExp Challenge Fund builds on the success of the Friends and Family Test and supports NHS England’s plans for more effective use of patient insight data. The primary aim of the fund is to support improvements in healthcare and improve the experience of patients and users of NHS maternity services.

The challenge fund supports the vision of the National Maternity Review to ensure safe, modern and high quality maternity services across England.

Earlier this year, maternity providers and CCGs were given the opportunity to bid for money from the challenge fund to trial new ways of working to further improve patient experience. Several winners were selected from a total of 64 applications; the winning entries are:

University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay

Improving the Culture of Communication of the Maternity Multidisciplinary Team through Experience Based Co-design, Communication Training Toolkit. The project will develop a more intense, innovative and radical approach to addressing negative patient experience and develop a cultural change in communication across maternity teams. Using patient feedback and involvement of families, real stories and experiences, this project aims to develop a training video describing how communication impacts upon service users.

Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

“Nobody’s patient”, seriously ill women and babies falling through the gaps – a #MatExp extension project. The project will design and develop content that will enable service users and health care providers to discuss local successes and challenges, leading to collaborative improvement work. A new toolkit will be developed to explore collection and use of feedback from seldom heard groups: families with babies in neo-natal units (NNU); severely ill women faced with an unexpectedly serious illness in pregnancy or the immediate postnatal period and women who miscarry in the second trimester.

Further information and an update on how the maternity challenge fund winning projects are evolving will be provided. Find more information about the challenge fund.