Maternity Challenge Fund Winners Announced

Winners have been selected for the Maternity Challenge Funds second round of prizes.

NHS England have awarded three midwife projects £50,000 with the intention of enabling them to explore innovative ways to utilise women’s and their partners’ feedback to improve maternity services.

The judging panel from NHS England and the Department of Health selected the three winners from approximately 50 entrants.

The fund was initiated during 2016 in an attempt to encourage new thinking regarding midwifery issues.

In particular, there was a desire to encourage feedback in order to drive improvement in the experiences of women and their loved ones during maternity care.

The winning trusts are Gloucester Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust; and Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

Project by maternity teams at the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay and Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust were supported by NHS in England after last year’s contest.

Material from the completed initiatives will be made available for services around the country from later this month.

Different emphasis has been placed in this second round of projects, with a particular focus on service improvement.

Projects have also been requested to address one of the following areas of potential usage for patient feedback:

Making the best use of feedback given about individual clinicians or other named staff;

– Exploring the potential to attribute feedback to named patients where they choose to identify themselves, in pursuit of improving their individual care or finding out more about areas of concern.

– Delivering the vision for maternity services across England; ie. for them to become safer, more personalised, kinder, professional and more family friendly;

– Recognising that user feedback plays a key role in understanding the actual experiences of women and their families during maternity care.

Commenting on the awards, Health Minister Philip Dunne outlined the qualities that judges had acknowledged in the decision-making process.

“This year’s winners all showcased innovative ideas which have the potential to benefit women and their partners across the country and also help us to achieve our ambition of halving the rates of stillbirth, neonatal and maternal deaths by 2030 – making the NHS the safest place in the world to have a baby.”

While Kath Evans, NHS England’s Maternity Experience of Care Lead, mused on the benefits of the award process.

“This year’s Maternity Challenge Fund projects provide a real opportunity to explore how we can get even more value from the feedback that women and their partners give. These initiatives will explore whether, and how well, information about their experiences can be used to enhance what happens at an individual level.”

Evans also praised the winners and their potential impact.

“Each of these pieces of work has the potential to identify really innovative approaches that could benefit maternity services and families across the country and we’re delighted to be able to support the three trusts in putting their great ideas into practice.”


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