The Normalising Birth workstream was developed from an existing East Midlands priority programme identified by the Next Stage Review clinical reference group for maternity care. It has now been established as a regionally monitored workstream within the Towards Excellence programme.
The aim of the workstream is to improve quality of care by promoting normal outcomes in maternity care and reducing caesarean section (C-section) rates to a safe minimum. In turn the workstream will also contribute to improving the outcomes for baby and mother and decrease the risk of morbidity and mortality.
The proportion of C-section births has been steadily increasing. However, the increase in operative births has not been accompanied by a measurable improvement in the outcomes for babies and has been shown to carry an increased risk for the mother of morbidity compared with normal deliveries. Additionally, C-section is major abdominal surgery that can both increase the chances of C-section in subsequent pregnancies and lead to other postoperative conditions. Normalising birth offers decreased risk, improved outcomes and improved patient experience.
Key Performance Indicators
The Normalising Births workstream has identified four key performance indicators that can be used by organisations to assist in understanding their progress towards achieving the objectives of the workstream. These are:
These data are being collected via HES (Hospital Episode Statistics) on an ongoing basis and then being analysed and presented by the East Midlands Quality Observatory on their website.