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Looking ahead

The College has also considered the areas where it can build on the breadth of work already being delivered, alongside its past and existing maternity safety programmes, education, guidance, training and advocacy work, to develop new initiatives to drive improvements in maternity safety.

These include:

  • Addressing the identified knowledge gap in clinical staff around evidence-based approaches to safety, through the development of bespoke maternity safety educational resources for multidisciplinary teams (This will include content such as a systems approach to safety management, safety-II, human factors, and psychological safety). The content will be sourced from experts in the field of safety science in healthcare.
  • Addressing the identified challenge of consistently delivering high quality compassionate engagement and care through the development of educational resources in these skills for multidisciplinary maternity teams. The College will work with those proficient in delivering ‘compassionate engagement and care’ skills and training. The content will be sourced from experts and funding will be sought to ensure that this can be made available free of charge on the RCOG’s Learning Management System.
  • In 2024, launching new courses on fetal monitoring and Human Factors training.
  • Using the best evidence and robust research approaches to improve safety through the establishment of an RCOG Maternity Safety Research Centre in partnership with the University of Birmingham. Working collaboratively to respond to identified gaps in research evidence, in improving maternity safety.
  • Ensuring that the College maintains perspective and is open to challenge about maternity safety through continued working with the Maternity Safety Working group.
  • Exploring opportunities to understand how advances in digital technology and most notably Artificial Intelligence, can have a positive impact on improving maternity safety.

Working in collaboration with others in the system, the College will commit to improving maternity safety through:

  • Recognising and valuing the need for a system wide approach, the College will continue to contribute to the Independent Maternity Working Group, (funded by the UK government Department of Health and Social Care) and other governance groups including the Maternity and Neonatal Delivery and Programme Board and the Maternity and Neonatal Care National Oversight Group.
  • Recognising the fundamental challenge of inequalities on outcomes for women, the College will support the work of organisations such as the NHS Race and Health Observatory to improve maternal and neonatal health outcomes for disadvantaged women and women from Black, Asian, Mixed and minority ethnic backgrounds.