Maternity incentive scheme and Early Notification update

Date published:

We know that the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic continues to place a huge strain on NHS services, and so we have been looking at some of our key programmes to ensure that trusts are supported during this challenging time. We have recently made some revisions to the maternity incentive scheme (MIS), extending timescales for trust submissions to the scheme and revising some of the safety actions to ensure that trusts continue to be supported to meet the scheme’s safety actions, while responding to Covid-19.

The MIS Collaborative Advisory Group (CAG) met at the end of February 2021 to discuss progress with the scheme and any further changes that may need to be made to support trusts moving forward. The group decided to further revise the scheme’s standards to support trusts to continue working towards improving quality and safety during the ongoing pandemic. This is in response to concerns highlighted by trusts regarding their ability to achieve the scheme requirements, especially in relation to safety actions two and eight.

We will be publishing the revised maternity incentive scheme guidance in the forthcoming week on the NHS Resolution website.

The changes made in the guidance include the removal of some of the sub-requirements within safety actions three, four and nine; an amended approach to validate Maternity Services Data Set (MSDS) data; and changes within safety action eight’s standards with the removal of the 90% threshold for training.

We would like to remind all trusts of the importance of reporting any outstanding eligible Early Notification (EN) cases, which occurred from 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020, to NHS Resolution and from 1 April 2020 onwards to the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch, as part of safety action ten. The safety action is externally verified, and eligible cases are checked against the National Neonatal Research Database. The cross-checking process has started and we have identified a number of eligible cases that have not yet been reported to us. We will be contacting the trusts involved in the coming weeks to discuss outstanding cases.

The revised guidance can be accessed via our dedicated maternity incentive scheme webpage

We are also updating the reporting requirements for the Early Notification scheme from 1 April 2021 and making key improvements to streamline the investigation process.

For further information on the maternity incentive scheme please contact