The Public Health team in Buckinghamshire CC requested a needs assessment of maternity services.
What was the problem?
Both Public Health and maternity commissioners wanted a more detailed picture of maternity provision particularly to understand how services were meeting the needs of more disadvantaged women and those at higher risk. They knew that while outcomes were good and the standard of services were generally of good quality there were inequalities and concern that the needs of disadvantaged groups might be sidelined compared to the majority who are relatively affluent and more vocal. They had so far not succeeded in getting useful data from the maternity unit and wanted to know what information was available and what it could tell them.
How did PHAST help?
PHAST carried out a comprehensive needs assessment including a review of what data is available and how useful it is. PHAST analysed the ONS births and deaths data, the maternity provider’s data and CSU SUS data to present a picture of maternity outcomes and the influence of medical, socioeconomic and behavioural risk factors to understand how the maternity services identify and manage risk. PHAST also carried out interviews with staff and those involved with services for higher risk women. PHAST reviewed reports and documents from BHT maternity service. It also included a rapid evidence review drawing on relevant NICE guidance.
What was the Impact?
PHAST presented our findings with recommendations on data availability and future use for monitoring and reporting, and areas where services could be improved particularly to improve outcomes for more vulnerable women, for use by maternity commissioners and providers.