Baby Lifeline Welcomes the First World Patient Safety Day
Baby Lifeline welcomes the first World Patient Safety Day and a new report, ‘The Global State of Patient Safety’, published by Imperial College, London.
The report states that for too long the prevailing view in healthcare has been that some patient harms are inevitable, and nothing can be done to prevent them and warns that such views are no longer acceptable.
“Safe care is an essential goal for health systems everywhere. It requires coordinated action, the empowerment of patients and staff and the creativity to develop the interventions we need. It must never be regarded as secondary to the delivery of health care. It is central to everything we do.”
A welcome focus on safer maternity care
Today’s report is a stark reminder of the importance of safer maternity care, both in the UK and globally, including:
- That globally, every day 830 women die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that, “Of the more than 130 million births occurring each year … 2.6 million [result] in stillbirth, and another 2.7 million in a new born death within the first 28 days of birth.”
- In the UK, 9 in every 100,000 mothers still die in pregnancy-related cases. The report cites a report from the Kings Fund study of nearly 600 frontline maternity staff in the UK that ‘… demonstrated a palpable concern for safety and a demand for better approaches to learning from incidents and creating safe skill mixes amongst teams.’
- In NHS maternity services, claims relating to medical negligence amount to £2.1 billion while £1.9 billion was spent on delivering babies in maternity care. Overall, the OECD reports that “The costs of harm dwarf the costs of preventing it”.
Baby Lifeline’s work to promote safety maternity care
Baby Lifeline is a unique charity that have worked for over 38 years to raise funds to provide monitoring equipment for mums and babies, and to carry out research relating to initiatives which aim to improve maternity safety. Through our not for profit training company, Baby Lifeline Training, we work collaboratively with leading experts and front-line professionals to develop accredited, evidenced based training to improve outcomes from care given to pregnant women, their unborn and newborn babies.
The courses we develop attract input from internationally renowned experts whose shared goal is to reduce avoidable harm. The courses have been shown to positively impact knowledge, confidence, and empowerment on the frontline.
Our training courses are continuously updated and are generated from pertinent findings in national reports and their recommendations. For example, one of our latest courses ‘Learning from Adverse Events in Maternity Services’ responds to the national impetus to improve how organisations respond and learn from adverse event and has been put together in collaboration with professionals from NHS Improvement (NHSI), NHS Resolution (NHSR) and the Healthcare Safety Investigations Branch (HSIB). The course focuses on promoting a just culture, supporting staff, family engagement and best practice investigation methodology.
In support of our shared mission to promote safer maternity care, Baby Lifeline is hosting the UK’s first National Maternity Safety Conference in Birmingham on 22nd January 2020. We have put together an exciting programme that brings together experts leading national transformation work to share progress and best practice. More information about our conference is available here.
As today’s report states, maternity and neonatal services hold responsibility for some of the most critical hours of life. Harm in maternity, although rare, can have dire and life-long consequences. Baby Lifeline is proud to work in collaboration with so many dedicated midwives, obstetricians, anaesthetics, neonatologists and other healthcare professionals towards making maternity services as safe as possible.
We welcome today’s report and the first World Patient Safety Day as an important way for bringing a global focus on the urgent need to improve maternity safety and patient safety across the world.