A national health seminar focusing on the challenges facing maternity services was held at Austin Court, Birmingham on 11 May.
Delegates from across England attended the one day event, jointly hosted by the Clinical Human Factors Group and West Midlands Patient Safety Collaborative (part of the West Midlands Academic Health Science Network).
As well as focusing on the challenges facing teams involved in the delivery of maternity services, in response to Better Births and other national maternity and neonatal initiatives, the day gave attendees the opportunity to explore how a human factors approach can support the reduction of preventable harm to mothers and babies and help develop resilient teams and organisations.
The event also enabled delegates to hear about different approaches being taken to improve safety in maternity services across the country, as well as contributing to group discussions and networking.
Keynote speakers included Professor Mark Radford, Director of Nursing – Improvement at NHS Improvement, who discussed human factors for organisational change; Dr Tony Kelly, National Clinical Director for National Maternity at NHS Improvement, who spoke about quality improvement in maternity and neonatal health; and Susanna Stanford who focused on care from a patient’s perspective.
Martin Bromiley, Chair of the Clinical Human Factors Group, said: “This was the first time the CHFG and West Midlands Patient Safety Collaborative brought people together to look at the topic of human factors in safer birth. I was delighted that the turnout was not only larger than anticipated, but also the variety of people we had attend was wonderful, ranging from student midwives, doctors and academics to national policy makers.
“It’s clear that people are ready to focus on safer birth using science and evidence to improve practice. Ultimately, human factors understanding has shown it can help improve care for mothers, babies and families.”
Reflecting on the event, Ann Abbassi, Quality Improvement and Human Factors Facilitator with the West Midlands Patient Safety Collaborative, said: “The West Midlands Patient Safety Collaborative is very pleased to have had the opportunity to co-host this Clinical Human Factors Group open seminar. Maternal and neonatal safety is critically important and is highly complex. This event brought many people together from diverse backgrounds and facilitated sharing, learning and networking about human factors approaches to maternal and neonatal safety.”