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Trusts allocated share of funding to spend on training to up maternity safety

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Funding worth over £8m in total has now been allocated to hospitals across England to deliver training to improve maternity safety.

A total of 136 trusts, including all 134 acute trusts with maternity units, have now been allocated tranches of funding from Health Education England’s Maternity Safety Training Fund programme.

The money will go towards implementing training packages in areas such as team leadership, multi-professional team working and communication, human factors training, foetal growth and monitoring, plus midwifery, obstetric and cardiotocography skills and drills.

The scheme was one of a raft of measures outlined in October last year as part of a new maternity safety action plan – Safer maternity care: next steps towards the national maternity ambition. Trusts were then invited to apply for part of the funding pot.

It is intended to back a policy ambition to make NHS maternity services “among the safest in the world” and reduce stillbirths, neonatal deaths, maternal deaths and brain injuries during or soon after birth by 20% by 2020 and by 50% by 2030.

Originally, the Department of Health promised trusts a minimum of £40,000 each but HEE said in a statement that applications from organisations had exceeded the available fund of £8m by 25%.

As a result, its regional branches – Midlands and East, London and South East, North and South – were given a proportional allocation from the fund to distribute across their trusts.

HEE said training plans were assessed against criteria that took into account “care quality ratings, staff and patient cohorts, improvement needs, value for money and previous funding received”.

The smallest allocations went to Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group, with £7,990, and Bridgewater Community NHS Trust with £25,000.

However, among acutes, Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust was only allocated £19,980, North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust £27,013, and Weston Area Health NHS Trust £29,571.

Other organisations under the £40,000 level included most ambulance trusts, Stockport NHS Foundation Trust with £38,671, Isle of Wight NHS Trust with £33182, and Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust with £33,699.

In contrast, those with the largest allocations include Barts Health NHS Trust with £117,888 and Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust with £10,5567, and Dorset County Hospital Foundation Trust at £83,226. In addition, £80,000 payouts went to a number of organisations:

  • Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust
  • Doncaster and Bassetlaw Foundation Trust
  • East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust
  • East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust
  • Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust
  • Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust
  • King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust
  • Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust
  • Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
  • United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust
  • University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust
  • Warrington and Halton Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Every trust receiving funding has committed to a number of key actions to improve safety, including developing maternity safety improvement plans, nominating an appointed maternity safety champion and implementing at least two of the four elements of NHS England’s Saving Babies’ Lives Safer Care Bundle.

For example, Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has been awarded an additional £40,000 and will use the grant to focus on foetal monitoring, team-working and communication, skills and drills.

Trust head of midwifery Helen Hurst said: “We are delighted to have been awarded this additional funding which will help to support the excellent work that is being carried out at Queen’s Hospital’s Maternity Unit.

“We are always striving to find innovative ways to improve the vital service we offer to parents-to-be and strongly believe that additional training will help us with that commitment,” she said.

“I am delighted that all NHS maternity trusts have been awarded an allocation from the fund”

Lisa Bayliss-Pratt

Meanwhile, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust was awarded £50,000, with its maternity team planning to spend it on training to enhance communication between midwives, obstetricians and other health professionals.

The programme also includes clinical skills enhancement and a key focus on staff resilience and compassionate culture.

Midwifery matron and trust maternity safety champion Joan Morrissey said: “We are delighted to have received this money to support our training.

“Our dedicated training team have designed an innovative programme to meet the needs of women and babies and it is important that the money is used wisely and has the maximum impact on improving the safety and experience of women and babies in our care.”

The trust’s training programmes are due to be completed by March 2018. HEE said it would also commission an independent evaluation to assess how trusts have improved quality and safety within maternity services and the wider impact for mothers and babies, families and maternity staff.

Lisa Bayliss-Pratt, HEE director of nursing and deputy director of education and quality, said: “I am delighted that all NHS maternity trusts have been awarded an allocation from the fund to progress their training and safety improvements, helping to make maternity services safer for mothers and babies, and enhance their care experience.”

  • Individual trust allocations can be viewed on the HEE website or via the PDF attached below
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