Maternity report from HSIB provides helpful update on progress being made

05 August 2022

Responding to the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB) maternity investigation programme year in review 2021/22, the interim chief executive of NHS Providers, Saffron Cordery said:

"We welcome this important report, which provides a detailed overview of the work undertaken by their maternity investigation programme over 2021/22, the efforts taken by trusts to improve the quality of maternity care they provide, as well as unveils the Maternity and Newborn Safety Investigations Special Health Authority (MNSI).

"It is good to see that some improvements have been made in maternity care, and that HSIB continue to finetune their collaborative approach of working with trusts by emphasising learning instead of blame while developing new ways of sharing examples of safe care trusts provide.

"Trust leaders will welcome some of the recent and upcoming developments by HSIB, including the Maternity Quality Matrix and newsletter; in particular, trusts appreciate the implementation of a race equality group to explore how best to address the stark disparities faced by black and minority ethnic mothers and their children, who are currently at an increased risk of adverse outcomes.

"However, while immense progress has been achieved in improving the quality of maternity care over the previous decade, we know that there is progress to be made, and trusts will look forward to working with HSIB to respond to and implement the safety recommendations identified. Trusts will welcome that emerging themes will be shared with them through regular updates on investigations being undertaken, so that continuous improvements can be made, including at a system level.

"Additionally, we continue to voice the need for action at a national level so that trusts have the necessary resources, capacity and time required to ensure that trusts have the support they need to continue building on positive momentum to improve maternity outcomes and experiences. Maternity care faces substantial challenges, such as significant workforce shortages, an increase in the complexity of cases, and a need to bolster local and national learning from concerns."

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