Infant Journal
for neonatal and paediatric healthcare professionals

Government pledges £2.45 million to improve childbirth care

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) is awarding the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) almost £2 million to lead the first phase of the Avoiding Brain injuries in Childbirth (ABC) collaboration.

The ABC review aims to develop a nationally agreed approach for how staff monitor the condition of a baby during labour by:

  • testing different approaches to monitoring babies during labour and surveying maternity staff to see how midwives and obstetricians currently identify when a baby is in distress during labour
  • interviewing women and their birth partners on these varying approaches based on their personal experiences
  • agreeing on a clear process to monitor babies and record readings during labour with a flowchart guide to decide when to escalate a case
  • developing a nationally agreed approach to delivering babies via caesarean section when there are complications with the baby's positioning.

The review will be carried out through a partnership with the Royal College of Midwives and The Healthcare Improvement Studies Institute at the University of Cambridge.

In addition, DHSC has also provided almost £450,000 to the RCOG to develop a new workforce planning tool to improve how maternity units calculate their medical staffing requirements, to better support families and babies.

The new programme aims to spot warning signs earlier to prevent life-changing brain injuries during birth.

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