The Maternity and Neonatal Safety Improvement Programme (MatNeoSIP)

The programme works with all maternity and neonatal providers in our region on a range of key improvement workstreams, aiming to reduce the rate of stillbirths, neonatal death and brain injuries.

MatNeoSIP builds on the work of the Maternal and Neonatal Health Safety Collaborative, a three-year programme, launched nationally in February 2017.   

Programme aims

The MatNeoSIP aims to:

  • Reduce the rate of still births, neonatal death and brain injuries occurring during or soon after birth by 50% by 2025. 
  • Contribute to the national target of increasing the proportion of smoke-free pregnancies to 94% or more by March 2023. 
  • To support the spread and adoption of the preterm perinatal optimisation care pathway across England to 95% or more by March 2025. 
  • Improve the early recognition and management of deterioration of women and babies to: 
    • Support the development of national pathway approach for the effective management of maternal and neonatal deterioration using the plan/prevention, identification, escalation and response (PIER) framework across all settings by March 2024. 
    • Work with key stakeholders to support the development of a national maternal early warning score (MEWS) and spread to all providers by March 2024. 
    • Support the spread and adoption of the neonatal early warning ‘trigger and track’ score (NEWTT) to all maternity and neonatal services by March 2023.

A stronger start in life – Right place of birth 

When a baby is going to be born prematurely, particularly when the baby is less than 27 weeks, it is vital that the very best experts in neonatal critical care are present to provide the best possible outcome. This means, when possible, ensuring babies less than 27 weeks are delivered in a maternity unit with a level three neonatal critical care unit attached, of which there are three in the East of England – the Rosie Hospital in Cambridge, Norfolk and Norwich Hospital and Luton and Dunstable Hospital. 

In our region, this was identified as an area that could be greatly improved and would make a substantial difference to women and their babies. In our region, the Right place of birth project has led to the roll out of two interventions: 

  1. The Fit for Transfer handover tool – to ensure all the trusts communicated information in the same format
  2. Working with the Neonatal Operational Delivery Network to agree an in-utero transfer policy with all clinicians across the East of England to strengthen the pathway for these very premature babies.

All 11 of the maternity units in the Eastern region adopted the Fit for Transfer handover tool and increased awareness of the importance of women giving birth in the right place. In 2020 up until the COVID-19 pandemic, 81% of premature babies in the East of England were born in level three neonatal critical care units, an increase of over 20% since the project initiated. 

“The project empowered our midwives because when they transferred a woman they felt confident they had provided all the necessary information to give her the best possible outcome and when they received a woman, they had a greater knowledge of the care required and could prepare accordingly. I’m thrilled to hear the project has sustained. It is a great example of a national directive implemented with local knowledge.”

Jo Knox, local learning lead on the Right place of birth project in Norfolk

Find out more about the Maternity and Neonatal Safety Improvement Programme (MatNeoSIP)

For more information, please contact Tendai Nzirawa, Maternity Clinical Improvement Lead at [email protected].

What are NatPatSIPs?

The National Patient Safety Improvement Programmes (NatPatSIPs) support a culture of safety, continuous learning and sustainable improvement across the healthcare system. They are run by the Patient Safety Collaboratives (PSCs), which are funded and nationally coordinated by NHS England and NHS Improvement and hosted locally by the Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs).

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