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  • Mind the Gap 2021: An investigation into maternity training for frontline professionals across the UK (23 November 2021)

    • UK
    • Reports and articles
    • Pre-existing
    • Original author
    • No
    • Baby LifeLine
    • 23/11/21
    • Everyone


    This report by the charity Baby Lifeline is part of their ongoing research into factors that contribute to the avoidable harm and deaths of mothers, birthing people and their babies. It explores what training looked like for the maternity services workforce during the Covid-19 pandemic. The report directly surveys recommendations from reports investigating avoidable harm and takes into account wider events affecting maternity care.


    Training gaps which already existed due to chronic underfunding and staff shortages have become worse due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and this report makes recommendations to improve local and national training at a critical time for maternity.

    Mind the Gap 2021 identifies and makes recommendations for workforce training in five priority areas:

    1. There needs to be a significant increase in funding to allow professionals to develop and maintain skills and to retain staff within maternity. This funding needs to properly support the expansion of the maternity workforce, attendance and backfill on professional development training, suitable IT facilities and equipment, and venues.
    2. Training needs to be developed to facilitate discussions and interactive learning, especially in a multi-professional environment, as maternity services move toward a more blended approach of online and face-to-face training.
    3. There should be a nationally agreed specification of ongoing training competencies for all staff, founded on evidence-based best practice, themes in avoidable harm, and clinical data. Compliance with training competencies should be externally validated regionally or by a national body, and actions taken to support any barriers identified.
    4. Maternity services should use local population data to determine clinical and social risk factors and determinants of health, which should then guide their training priorities. Evidence-based training should be co-produced with family voices groups, both local and national, to keep service users at the heart of improving care.
    5. There should be a nationally agreed method of monitoring training, and an auditing system developed to support professionals on the frontline to collect and utilise the data easily. This is particularly important if the training relates to national safety initiatives designed to save lives and reduce harm, and will enable a meaningful analysis of the impact of certain initiatives.


    Mind the Gap 2021: An investigation into maternity training for frontline professionals across the UK (23 November 2021) https://www.babylifeline.org.uk/mind-the-gap-2021
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