Improving equity and equality in maternity and neonatal care
We combined national metrics and local NHS, council and third sector data to help health systems understand where there are inequalities within local services.
There was a national requirement from NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSEI) for all local maternity systems to develop a maternity equity and equality audit by the end of November 2021. The aim was to understand where there are inequalities within the maternity services locally. This will be used to inform guidance to improve maternal health outcomes.
This case study looks at the Leicester, Leicestershire & Rutland (LLR) version of the maternity audit however the Midlands and Lancashire Commissioning Support Unit carried out this audit across our whole customer base.
We analysed a large number of metrics:
- National metrics relating to maternity, neonatal and perinatal mental health
- Local provider data from organisations such as University Hospitals of Leicester Trust, Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust, Leicestershire County Council and others.
- Voluntary sector data from, for example, the National Maternity Voices Partnership and others.
The audit was submitted to NHSEI as part of Stage 1 of the national requirement in November 2021.
The audit highlighted gaps in maternity services and suggested where further work was required, for example:
- Ethnic coding in the neonatal data set
- Data quality and data consistency
- Data provided to support anecdotal evidence.
Following the submission of the ‘Equity Plan’ to NHSEI, Stage 2 will be an action plan drawn up based on the analysis to improve maternal health outcomes, and will be locally focussed. The local maternity system will work with partners to develop those plans.
What the NHS is doing and how
The NHS is working to improve equity for mothers and babies and equality in experience for staff. The NHS has set out why this work is needed, the aims of this work and how the NHS will achieve its aims in two documents:
- Equity and Equality: Guidance for Local Maternity Systems. Based on the five health inequalities priorities in the 2021/22 Planning Guidance, this will help local maternity systems align their plans with integrated care systems health inequalities work.
- NHS pledges to improve equity for mothers and babies and race equality for staff. The four pledges help create a shared understanding of why work on equity and equality is needed, and the aims and outcomes of this work.
The guidance seeks to respond to the findings of the MBRRACE-UK reports about maternal and perinatal mortality, which show worse outcomes for those from Black, Asian and Mixed ethnic groups and those living in the most deprived areas. In doing so, consideration was given to the strong evidence highlighted in the NHS People Plan that “…where an NHS workforce is representative of the community that it serves, patient care and…patient experience is more personalised and improves”. Therefore, the strategy recognises that improving equity for mothers and babies also requires a focus on race equality for staff.
News and views
We are excited to share that NHS Midlands and Lancashire CSU (MLCSU) will be both exhibiting and speaking…
What are these game-changing tools? GitHub: the hub of collaboration Scott Johnson, Business Intelligence Lead, MLCSU The NHS…
We tackled overmedication in individuals with learning disabilities and autism by upskilling primary care pharmacists, facilitating structured medication…
How we can help health systems
Developing health systems
Acting as an independent and trusted partner within the system to facilitate working across stakeholders and integrate elements of the provider system…Learn more about Developing health systems
Workforce resilience and transformation
Supporting systems to build a sustainable and integrated workforce, transforming systems, organisations and the workforce experience to improve resilience.Learn more about Workforce resilience and transformation
Communications and engagement
Supporting ICSs with approaches to design and deliver effective communication, engagement and behavioural insights as a key enabler for system change and…Learn more about Communications and engagement
Digitally enabled transformation and IT
Digitising care and partnering with systems for the transformation of digitally enabled service delivery (and other supporting processes) across vision, planning and…Learn more about Digitally enabled transformation and IT
PHM analytics and decision support
Applying intelligence-led understanding of the health of the population to support the redesign of care and improve patient and financial outcomes across…Learn more about PHM analytics and decision support
Place and primary care transformation
Supporting providers to work together at a place and neighbourhood level to manage common resources, integrate community teams, improve health and reduce…Learn more about Place and primary care transformation
Clinical redesign and provider collaboration
Redesigning how health and care works across England - placing people at the centre of their own health and care and utilising…Learn more about Clinical redesign and provider collaboration
Personalised healthcare commissioning services
Providing end-to-end funded care services, including patients as active partners in identifying their healthcare needs and then commissioning care to meet these.…Learn more about Personalised healthcare commissioning services
Business enabling services
Delivering a wide range of support functions through transactional services, business partnering and transformation that drives efficiencies and releases value and time…Learn more about Business enabling services