Notes to editors
For further information or interviews, please contact The King's Fund press and public affairs office on 020 7307 2585 or 020 7307 2603. An ISDN line is available for interviews on 020 7637 0185.
*The Safer Births initiative is a partnership between The King's Fund, Royal College of Midwives, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Centre for Maternal and Child Enquiries, NHS Litigation Authority and National Patient Safety Agency. It aims to improve the safety of maternity services by supporting frontline professionals.
The report is available to download at www.kingsfund.org.uk/saferbirths. It sets out the findings from three regional events involving heads of midwifery, lead obstetricians and risk managers. Across the three events, held in York, London and Wigan, 71 trusts were involved out of a total of 73 in the Yorkshire and the Humber, North East, London and North West strategic health authority regions. Overall about 40 per cent of participants were midwives; 20 per cent were obstetricians; and 20 per cent were managers or risk managers. Most teams came from consultant-led units.
The King’s Fund is a charity that seeks to understand how the health system in England can be improved. Using that insight, we help to shape policy, transform services and bring about behaviour change. Our work includes research, analysis, leadership development and service improvement. We also offer a wide range of resources to help everyone working in health to share knowledge, learning and ideas.
The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) aims to promote and advance the profession of the midwife. The RCM represents the vast majority of the UK's midwives and is one of the world's oldest and largest midwifery organisations, and celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2006. It is also a trade union. For more information visit the RCM website at www.rcm.org.uk
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) is dedicated to the study and the advancement of standards in women’s reproductive healthcare. It does so through publishing working party reports, scientific opinions and clinical guidelines and works closely with other professional organisations and healthcare agencies. It is also involved in postgraduate medical training and the continuous professional development of consultants. For more information, please visit www.rcog.org.uk.
The Centre for Maternal and Child Enquiries (CMACE) is an independent charity. Its mission is to improve the health of mothers, babies and children by carrying out confidential enquiries and other related work on a UK wide basis and widely disseminating the results.
The NHS Litigation Authority (NHSLA) is a Special Health Authority responsible for handling negligence claims made against NHS organisations in England. In addition to dealing with claims, the NHSLA has an active risk management programme to help raise standards of care in the NHS. The Clinical Negligence Scheme for Trusts (CNST) is a risk pooling scheme administered by the NHSLA which handles all clinical negligence claims made against NHS organisations where the incident took place on or after 1 April 1995. Maternity claims account for around 50% of the value of all CNST claims. The costs of CNST are met by contributions from NHS organisations. The CNST maternity standards apply to NHS organisations providing labour ward services and are used by the NHSLA to assess the management of risks. NHS organisations achieving the standards receive a discount from the maternity element of their CNST contribution. www.nhsla.com.
The National Patient Safety Agency is an Arm’s Length Body of the Department of Health. It encompasses three divisions; the National Research Ethics Service, the National Reporting and Learning Service and the National Clinical Assessment Service. The NPSA’s vision is to lead and contribute to improved, safe patient care by informing, supporting and influencing healthcare individuals and organisations. For more information visit: www.npsa.nhs.uk.