It contains a range of tools, templates, ‘hints and tips’ and an accompanying DVD to help maternity teams improve the safety of care.
The Safer Birth Toolkit
will be sent to every maternity unit in England, following its launch at the King’s Fund’s Delivering Better Maternity Care conference
The RCM has been involved in the development of the toolkit, which also draws on the experiences of 12 trusts across England that took part in the Safer Births programme.
Cathy Warwick, RCM chief executive, was at the launch event and has welcomed the news.
‘It’s wonderful to be at the launch of the Safer Birth Toolkit today,’ she said.
‘I think this is a really important piece of work and demonstrates the willingness on behalf of the King’s Fund to actually implement the ideas that came out in the Safe Births: Everybody's Business report.
‘This should really help maternity units put that knowledge into practice – it is very, very welcome.’
Anna Dixon, director of policy at the King's Fund added: ‘Today I would like to commend this toolkit to you as a practical resource.
‘These are hopefully practical things that you can implement to improve care.’
She urged midwives to use it and feed back their thoughts, and said the launch was about ‘celebrating the lessons learnt’ from those teams who took part.
The toolkit features examples of documents and materials that have been used or developed by participating maternity teams.
These are designed to provide a useful starting point for teams with a desire to improve the safety of maternity care – particularly care for women in labour.
The toolkit is organised around five key areas for improvement: teamworking; communication; training; information and guidance; staffing and leadership.
Each section begins with a brief explanation on how focusing on improvements in the specific area can contribute to improved safety.
Jacque Gerrard, RCM England director, said: ‘This can only be a good thing for the women and babies that midwives and other members of the maternity team care for.
‘It is a welcome and positive step that will promote and, we hope, improve safety in maternity services by helping midwives, support workers and doctors to deliver safer, high quality care.
‘The focus on issues – such as better teamworking and communication – and its acknowledgement of the need for more staff, are among the key things that the RCM has championed and highlighted a need for.
‘I hope this will take us a long way towards achieving all of these things and more.’
The toolkit features short summaries of the tools included that provide a brief guide to how to use them and signpost further resources.
It also includes information about service improvement and the tools and techniques that can be used.