Maternity Incentive Scheme

Latest updates

Revised Maternity Incentive Scheme guidance for year 5

On Monday 23 October 2023, we sent Trusts a letter on the revised Maternity Incentive Scheme guidance for year 5. The letter is available to read here

A revised Board Notification Form has been published (November 2023). This form has been updated to include the changes introduced to address the challenges as a result of the ongoing industrial action.

If contact details have changed for your nominated Maternity Incentive Scheme leads please let us know here.

Obstetric incidents can be catastrophic and life-changing, with related claims representing the Clinical Negligence Scheme for Trusts’ (CNST) biggest area of spend. Of the clinical negligence claims notified to us in 2021/22, obstetrics claims represented 12 per cent of clinical claims by number, but accounted for 62 per cent of the total value of new claims; almost £6 billion.

The Maternity Safety Strategy set out the Department of Health and Social Care’s ambition to reward those who have taken action to improve maternity safety. We are very happy to support this work through the Maternity Incentive Scheme.

Maternity Incentive Scheme: Year four results

MIS year 4 results which are available below. The results can be filtered by Trust’s name, region and/or compliance status. Should you have any queries, please contact

Maternity Incentive Scheme: Year five

The MIS supports the delivery of safer maternity care through an incentive element to trust contributions to the CNST. MIS, developed in partnership with the national maternity safety champion, Dr Matthew Jolly, rewards trusts that meet 10 safety actions designed to improve the delivery of best practice in maternity and neonatal services.

In the fifth year, the MIS will continue to incentivise the 10 maternity safety actions from the previous year with some further refinement.

Information about year five of the MIS were published on 31 May 2023. Guidance is available below.

The 10 safety actions

The ten safety actions for year four have been agreed with the national maternity safety champions in partnership with the Collaborative Advisory Group (CAG). The CAG was established by NHS Resolution to bring together other arm’s length bodies and the Royal Colleges to support the delivery of the CNST maternity incentive scheme and has also advised NHS Resolution on the refined safety actions. Members of the group include: the Department of Health and Social Care, NHS England (NHSE), NHS Digital (now part of NHSE), 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 (CQC)’s Maternity and Newborn Safety Investigations (MNSI) programme (transferring from HSIB from October 2023).

How the Maternity Incentive Scheme works

Provision for the maternity incentive scheme has been built into our CNST maternity pricing for 2022/23. As in year three, the scheme incentivises ten maternity safety actions. Trusts that can demonstrate they have achieved all of the ten safety actions will recover the element of their contribution to the CNST maternity incentive fund and will also receive a share of any unallocated funds.

Trusts that do not meet all ten safety actions will not recover their contribution to the CNST maternity incentive fund, but may be eligible for a small discretionary payment from the scheme to help them to make progress against any actions they have not achieved. Such a payment would be at a much lower level their original 10 per cent contribution.

All participating trusts are required to provide clinical and financial contacts to receive and send communications relating to the Maternity Incentive Scheme.

How the Maternity Incentive Scheme is managed

Whilst the MIS is a self-certified scheme, with all scheme submissions requiring sign-off by trust Boards and ICBs following conversations with trust commissioners. All submissions also undergo an external verification process and are sense-checked by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Further information

We previously carried out an interim evaluation of the maternity incentive scheme, and we are about to commence a formal evaluation of MIS and the Early Notification Scheme incorporating feedback from NHS trust maternity services and identifying key outcomes from the scheme to date.

For further information on the maternity incentive scheme please contact, or on the Early Notification Scheme please contact

You can find more information on the results of year one and year two of the maternity incentive scheme below.

MIS reconfirmation log – Feb 2024

MIS Board Notification Form November 2023

MIS Year 5 Guidance

year one: results overview

year one: results regional breakdown

year two: results overview

year two: results regional breakdown

year 3 results overview February 2022

MIS Year 4 results

interim evaluation of MIS April 2020

MIS Appeal template 

Page last updated on: