This study from the THIS Institute, published in BMJ Quality and Safety, seeks to characterise features of safe care in maternity units. Hospital-based maternity units in the study displayed features that reinforce each other to optimise safety. The paper describes these features in a plain language framework, the For Us – For Unit Safety framework.
Preventable harm in maternity care has devastating consequences for families, and the associated negligence claims create huge costs for the NHS. Reducing harm in maternity care is a major priority to protect families and NHS sustainability. Much work to date has focused on identifying what goes wrong in maternity care. This study takes a fresh, positive perspective and shares learning about what good looks like for safety in maternity units. The result is the For Us framework, which identifies the behaviours and practices that appear to be features of safe care in hospital-based maternity units.
The framework doesn’t tell staff working in maternity units what to do. Instead it aims to aid reflection and collective learning and to target improvement efforts. It is an evidence-based framework that aims to support staff working in maternity units to reflect on what good looks like in a safe maternity unit, to identify and agree on priorities for improvement, celebrate achievements, or to make a case for increasing investment to achieve safety.
Seven features of safety in maternity units