HLS Clinical Excellence Partnership have developed new Maternity Excellence Standards, and are currently taking part in the CQC and UKAS healthcare accreditation pilot.
To be part of our journey, gain independent assurance of your clinical service and become involved with our national networking and learning events contact us now!
They support maternity units to incorporate quality initiatives into everyday clinical practice. Achieving certification is a way of assuring women, their families, staff and organisational leadership that a high-quality service is in operation. It demonstrates that an effective quality management system is established, and there is a clear commitment to continual improvement.
National initiatives are calling for the UK to improve on its ranking of 24th out of 49 for still birth rates in high income countries, NHS England have a target to halve the rates of still births, neonatal and maternal deaths; as well as intrapartum brain injuries by 2030 and NHS England has introduced a new Improvement and Assessment Framework for CCGs, stating maternity as one of the five areas of clinical priority.
Maternity services across England are to become:
Staff are to be:
(Better Births 2016)
The Care Quality Commission has been working with Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP) to improve the quality of healthcare service accreditation. The Clinical Services Accreditation Alliance were a group of professional clinical bodies whose aims were to ensure that any accreditation or certification scheme in the UK had a patient focus. This will ultimately lead to improvements in the standards of care whilst having minimal administrative burden on the healthcare system.
This is a major health accreditation initiative, and could be the start of an entirely new way of the health service being scrutinised. Maternity services have the option now to engage with other accreditation/certification schemes other than the CQC. Providing external assurance report to the visiting CQC inspectors, shows a commitment to quality and to continual improvement; it allows problems to be identified and solutions to be found before the CQC inspectors come on site. It give maternity services management and organisational leadership assurance that systems and processes are in place within maternity, the same way the NHSLA CNST Maternity Standards used to do.
A quality maternity service is one which is safe, effective, woman-centred and efficient. This means having a framework in place which clearly illustrates a commitment to quality and continual improvement. It requires fostering a culture in which staff are content, open, honest and show integrity, and cultivating a workforce who are visibly committed to correcting issues which could lead to substandard care for women.
Because we are new
The Standards are currently in pilot stage and organisations who join the partnership will be able to drive the future direction of the standards. We have had the enviable position of being able to align our standards with current national guidance and engage with key stakeholders – we are completely up to date.
Our Standards have been written to conform to national and international guidance on standard development. We meet the requirements of:
References are provided for maternity service to look in more depth about the Standard requirements and their origins.
Our assessment process is designed to be part of ‘business as usual’
Our objectives are purely to improve quality within maternity services
The Clinical Excellence Partnership was founded by professionals who are experts in healthcare, standard writing and assessment. It was set up to:
Scope of the Maternity Clinical Standards
The scope of the Standards is to certify the antenatal, labour and birth process of women within the community and acute healthcare setting. This includes women:
Reviewing and maintaining the Standards
Self-assessment and health record review
Initial and Periodic Assessments and the 3-year cycle
The assessment will include a series of activities that will include:
These standards are currently in a pilot year, the Clinical Excellence Partnership will consult, learn and improve in order to formulate the final Certification Programme for Maternity Services in 2018.
We are currently at pilot stage – if you wish to support us in this project, and help us formulate a robust, and clinically relevant set of Standards, then please get in touch.
Please register your interest in becoming a pilot site, or provide comment on the Standards:
A number of workshops and learning events are being held throughout the year, from small scale in house, tailored training events, requested by maternity services; to larger learning and sharing events where we aim to bring together people with the aim of facilitating improvements in clinical care. Please register your interest in receiving information on such events below:
Harriet has spent a number of years assessing maternity services against the NHSLA Clinical Negligence Scheme for Trusts Maternity Standards in the UK. She has also been involved in designing and implementing clinical services accreditations, including maternity excellence standards, throughout Europe.
'I believe that an external pair of eyes, can help services focus on issues which require improvement. If this is done in a supportive way, which does not disrupt services, combined with an assessment process which requires minimal preparation, then this is an invaluable opportunity. We can use a structured and comprehensive set of Standards which services can utilise before a CQC inspection, and then provide the report as evidence. The Clinical Excellence Partnership aims to assemble a Quality Improvement Partnership, one which encourages the sharing of learning across regional boundaries and facilitates networking'.
Sue Harris has worked in healthcare for over 30 years, has an MSc in Health Services Management and she is an expert in maternity care. Her mission is to make hospitals a better, safer place for patients and staff. She believes that external certification is a powerful way to improve consistency and quality of care through robust scrutiny. Sue started her career as a nurse and midwife and then went on to manage maternity units in Essex and the East Midlands. She then used her varied experience in her role as CNST assessor for the NHS Litigation Authority, prior to the withdraw of the standards in 2014. Sue was a member of the core team that revised and updated the CNST maternity standards.
Since then she has worked with charities including Macmillan Cancer Support, Bliss, the neonatal charity, and Rethink Mental Illness. She has been a member of international hospital audit teams in the UK, Europe and China and has also written and delivered risk management training in both the UK and the United States. Sue also has a keen interest in leadership development and has been a member of the Scout Association as either a leader or volunteer manager since 1985.