“Babies born at 37 weeks and beyond who are alive in labour should be born in good condition and go home with mum and family.” (Principal Investigator, Each Baby Counts)
Those interviewed shared the sentiment that the ethos of Each Baby Counts as a programme was to improve care during labour and the intrapartum period, and consequently to improve outcomes. While for some the specific details of the methods for achieving this were not entirely clear, for others there was a good understanding of the process by which Each Baby Counts planned to operate.
“Review of reviews – EBC uses the basic review that is going on at a local level, but then adds that external scrutiny to the review rather than the whole of the records, which means that we can look at every baby [...] every baby’s care will get scrutinised at a higher external level.” (Researcher)
Many interviewees commented that the area of investigation was much needed for the cohort of babies included in Each Baby Counts, that there was (at the time of the programme’s inception) nothing else like it in the national maternity landscape and that the ambition of the programme was a worthy one, if a little bold.
There was a real sense that those who have been included in the programme felt a level of pride at having been involved. There was an explicit gratitude to the programme and the team for working so hard to bring these issues to the attention of those within the professions working in this area, Government and ministers, and also to the wider field of maternity safety.
“[Each Baby Counts] was really trying to say these babies are important and we want as a profession to understand more and to learn and improve. I think it’s been a very powerful programme.” (HSIB clinical leadership team member)
Stakeholders all discussed a number of positives of the programme, both in terms of benefits of the programme itself and the wider impact of the work, and this will be reported in the next section.