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Methodology

Twenty-five semi-structured interviews were carried out to explore the views and thoughts of a number of key stakeholders involved either directly in the programme or in wider maternity safety work. Topics for discussion included the aim and purpose of Each Baby Counts, its strengths and limitations, and the programme’s impact.

Participants

Stakeholders were identified by the Each Baby Counts project team and represented a maximum variation sample. Participants were invited via an electronic letter from the Chair of the Each Baby Counts Independent Advisory Group and the RCOG Vice President for Clinical Quality.

The stakeholder groups approached included: the Each Baby Counts project team; Royal Colleges relevant to Each Baby Counts; third-sector organisations; patient and public involvement representatives; Each Baby Counts lead reporters and reviewers; devolved nation representatives; and NHS England and the Department of Health and Social Care (NHS Resolution, Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB)).

Data collection

Data were collected using semi-structured interviews during the months of October and November 2020. The interviews lasted between 30 minutes and 1 hour and, due to restrictions associated with COVID-19 and the impact on working practices, the interviews were all conducted using the online technology available via Microsoft Teams. A flexible topic guide was used to ensure that topics of interest were covered consistently across interviews. Stakeholders completed a consent form relating to recording of the interviews and to the use of any pertinent quotations.

All interviews were recorded using the system’s functionality so that note-taking could occur in more detail after interviews were conducted. Interviews were not transcribed verbatim, but key quotations have been transcribed and are presented throughout this chapter to support the overall findings.

Data analysis

Interviews were conducted and subsequently listened to again, in order to make substantial notes and summaries of the discussion within an exploratory matrix.

Themes aligning to the questions within the topic guide were drawn out, as were other pertinent areas raised by participants. Data are presented as described by the participants and direct quotations are used to illustrate the findings, shown with the individual’s employment/role title.