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Saturday 22nd October 2016

Review of maternity services

25th January 2008

A major review of maternity services in England has found significant variations in the quality of care delivered.


The Healthcare Commission rated one in four NHS maternity services as “best performing.�

But the comparative review, the most comprehensive assessment of maternity services in England, saw 22% of maternity services as “fair performing� (32 trusts) and 21% as “least well performing� (31 trusts) with 26% of trusts as “best performing� (38 trusts) and 32% “better performing� (47 trusts).�

The review by the Healthcare Commission was undertaken in response to concerns about maternity services. It set benchmarks for maternity care, taking into account guidance from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence and the National Service Framework for Maternity Services.

Trusts in the north of England performed relatively well, while trusts in London performed most poorly.

Chief executive Anna Walker said: “There have been serious concerns about maternity services. That is why we have carried out a wide-ranging review. We have assessed 148 trusts providing maternity services against a comprehensive range of issues that women and clinicians tell us are important.

“We have deliberately made the experience of women central to this review. The care given to women during pregnancy, birth and the time just after giving birth is extremely important to both the mother and the baby. It can have lasting negative effects if not handled correctly.�

Some trusts failed to supply full data and poor performing maternity units will be monitored to ensure they have taken steps to improve services.


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