Monday, April 25, 2011

Quality evaluation of maternity services in UK

In my previous post I was describing system of maternity services in UK provided by NHS (National Health Services). Services are provided in hospitals and community centers (which include also midwifery-led birth centers) . Deliveries being assisted by Obstetritian ( specialists for complicated labour) and / or Midwives (Specialists for normal labour).
NHS encouradges low-risk pregnant women to deliver in birth centers citing study which confirmed low rate of interventions:
"A recent report on an NHS-run Birth Centre shows that women booked with the unit have fewer interventions in labour (even if they are transferred to hospital in labour) than low-risk women booked for hospital birth.Saunders, D., Boulton, M., Chapple, J., Ratcliffe, J. and Levita, J. (2000) Evaluation of the Edgware Birth Centre North Thames Perinatal Public Health

This post will be try to explain quality evaluation of maternity health care provided within this system.
NHS supports full transparency  by publishing  data and making them available for mothers to be able to choose health care provider according their needs and wishes.
(Kindly open the links to see the statistics)

1. How to find nearest maternity unit
    a. By region
    b.By hospital

2.Basic maternity statistics for the region
     - with description of available care: Obstetritians, Midwives, GP
     - evaluated as:  national average, better or worse than average ( by colours)
     - UNICEF Baby Friendly Awards for breastfeeding ( level of accreditation)   

3.Basic maternity statistics for the hospital
     - with comparision of nearby maternity units

4.Evaluated criteria
     - will determine hospital rating within the NHS system
  a. births per year
  b. induction rate
  c. cesarean rate
  d. instrumental delivery rate
  e. normal birth rate
  f. another statistics

5.Visiting maternity units
Many hospitals organize visit tours upon request where women have chance to ask questions about maternity unit, equipment available, services provided: waterbirth, epidurals, TENS machines, medication, rates of interventions,..breastfeeding support and Baby Friendly Hospital status.

NHS website offers complete guide through the process of making the birth choices by providing details on antenatal classes, medical interventions,  maternity rights and latest research which help women with her hopes for birth and its outcomes, booking of maternity care and choosing trusted health care provider.

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