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Positive first year for collaborative maternity incentive scheme

Date published:

A national scheme to help maternity services in England deliver better care to mothers and their babies has shown positive results in its first year.

NHS Resolution’s maternity incentive scheme, rewards trusts meeting ten safety actions designed to improve the delivery of best practice in maternity and neonatal services. The ten actions were agreed by the national maternity safety champions, Matthew Jolly and Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent, in partnership with NHS Resolution’s Collaborative Advisory Group (CAG). The CAG was established to bring together systems partners to support the delivery of the scheme.

Members of the group include: NHS Digital, NHS England, NHS Improvement, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Royal College of Midwives, Mothers and Babies: Reducing Risk through Audits and Confidential Enquiries (MBRRACE) and the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

In year one:

  • 75 trusts met all ten actions and have received their 10% rebate and have been awarded a proportionate share of the remaining funds;
  • NHS Resolution received 100% participation by the 132 eligible trusts; and
  • 57 trusts did not meet all ten actions and have received some funding linked to robust action plans to enable them to meet the outstanding safety actions. NHS Resolution and its partners will be supporting trusts to make progress against the actions in year two.

The scheme saw demonstrable impact in terms of delivering safety improvements, including:

  • 100% registration with Mothers and Babies: Reducing Risk through Audits and Confidential Enquiries across the UK to access National Perinatal Mortality Review Tool;
  • Significant improvement in quality of reporting to NHS Digital for March 2018; and
  • 100% reporting to NHS Resolution’s Early Notification scheme.

A more detailed breakdown of the results of year one of the scheme is available, as is a regional breakdown.

The National Maternity champions are pleased to report early signs of success for NHS Resolution’s maternity incentive scheme, with a 100% response rate from eligible trusts. The scheme has been hugely influential and led to improvements in services, with all participating trusts receiving varying levels of incentive funding to drive further improvements.

Dr Matthew Jolly, National Clinical Director for Maternity and Women’s Health at NHS England

Maternity claims represent the biggest area of spend for NHS Resolution. Of the clinical negligence claims notified to us in 2017/18, obstetrics claims represented ten percent (1,067) of clinical claims by number, but accounted for 48% of the total value of new claims, £2,166.3 million of the total £4,513.2 million.

Trusts that improve their maternity safety will be in a better place to protect mothers and babies from harm, will save the NHS money, allow resources to be made available to deliver frontline care and will help drive continuous improvement.

Helen Vernon, Chief Executive at NHS Resolution

Obstetric incidents can be catastrophic and life-changing for families, and we need to all work together to do all we can to help prevent these occurring. Our maternity incentive scheme draws together a number of actions agreed by senior clinicians to help drive improvements in maternity.

By meeting all ten safety actions, we believe that this will help trusts to deliver safer maternity services and result in fewer cases of brain injuries or other harm that lead to negligence claims.

Denise Chaffer, Director of Safety and Learning at NHS Resolution