The maternity incentive scheme was launched by NHS Resolution at the end of 2017. Trusts that successfully achieve all of the ten safety actions recover not only their contribution to the maternity incentive fund, but also a share of any unallocated monies. Unsuccessful trusts are provided with support to deliver action plans to help meet their outstanding safety action(s).
This year 116 trusts achieved all ten safety actions identified within the scheme, representing a significant uplift on the results of the previous year. On a regional basis, all trusts in London and the South West met ten-out-of-ten safety actions, followed by 94 per cent of trusts in the North West, 91 per cent in the North East and Yorkshire area, and 89 per cent in the South East.
Maternity claims represent around 10 per cent of the total number of clinical negligence claims received by NHS Resolution each year, but relate to 60% of the annual £9 billion cost of harm in relation to the Clinical Negligence Scheme for Trusts. Incidents occurring in maternity have a significant life-long impact on affected patients and their families and are traumatic for the NHS staff involved. The safety actions that trusts are required to meet as part of the maternity incentive scheme are updated each year and developed in partnership with NHS England’s two national maternity safety champions and other key stakeholders* such as NHS Digital, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the Royal College of Midwives. The aim of the safety actions is to improve patient outcomes and reduce costs, freeing up resources for frontline patient care.
For year two of the scheme, the safety actions focused on areas such as the implementation of the saving babies lives care bundle, having effective workforce planning systems within trusts in place, maternity emergency training, listening to and acting on patient feedback and regular meetings between trust safety champions and Boards to escalate locally identified issues. Key highlights from this year’s report show:
- 100 per cent of trusts were able to demonstrate the implementation of a comprehensive patient feedback mechanism within maternity services, which included acting on feedback received; and
- Improvements in compliance with all four elements of the Savings Baby’s Lives care bundle.
Trusts that didn’t achieve all ten safety actions will be supported to address any areas for development and ensure compliance.
Following the extremely positive second year results, NHS Resolution has launched the maternity incentive scheme for a third year. Further details of the scheme, including the safety actions that trusts will be challenged with achieving are available.
*The Collaborative Advisory Group includes:
The Department of Health and Social Care, NHS Digital, NHS England and NHS Improvement, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Royal College of Midwives, Mothers and Babies: Reducing Risk through Audits and Confidential Enquiries (MBRRACE), Royal College of Anaesthetists, and the Care Quality Commission.