Project information

Safer Births

Safety in maternity units concerns us all. This project aims to draw together related partners to facilitate staff in maternity units to improve safety standards and processes through intensive collaborative working.

June 2009 - March 2011

Charity information

The King's Fund

The King's Fund logo
  • Need


    The project grew from research undertaken by The King's Fund into the safety of maternity services. It became clear that research was not enough, and the Fund was uniquely placed to bring together partners to apply the research findings into maternity units in order to generate positive change.


    Safer Births will:
    • identify approaches to patient safety and translate these ideas into practical changes.
    • nurture and test local approaches to promote uptake more broadly
    • promote a coordinated approach to helping frontline professional improve safety which brings together the expertise and activities of partner organisations
    • develop a self-sustaining mechanism to ensure that patient safety initiatives in maternity can be continuously disseminated.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Identify approaches to patient safety and translate these ideas into practical changes


    » Partnering with the RCOG, RCM and others we are gathering all information on best practice, and working with maternity units to implement it

    Success will be evidence of new approaches being adopted

    Aim 2

    Nurture and test local approaches to promote uptake more broadly


    » Through our cluster groups of maternity units we will ensure that local learning is shared and disseminated

    Success will be evidence of cross-fertilisation of approaches in other areas

    Aim 3

    Promote a coordinated approach to helping frontline professionals improve safety


    » Continue to raise issues of safety in maternity in various national and international fora as well as continuning research into maternity matters

    Success will be a full programme of maternity safety messages delivered to a range of fora and networks

    Aim 4

    Set up an self-sustaining system for maternity safety initiatives to be continuously disseminated


    » We will run a series of national conferences and use a web portal to share best practice, ensuring it is bedded into the wider health community

    Success will be longevity of a system that continues to make an impact on maternity safety after five years

  • Impact


    Long term the project seeks to raise standards in all English maternity units, and success would be demonstated in a reduction of preventable maternal and child deaths and serious accidents.


    This is a new approach to health care improvement, and there are risks that an intensive improvement network will not bring about systemic change. We are continuously evaluating impact and percieved impact, and responding to feedback to ensure the programme has long term impact


    We will report to donors on outcomes following completion of the project in March 2011. We will also provide opportunities for donors to attend national events featuring the programme.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £100,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £100,000 Project management Contribution towards the project from external sources

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Grant-making trusts £10,000 Guaranteed
    Corporate sector £10,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    Maternity units in the following hospitals:
    Barts and The London NHS Trust
    Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
    Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust
    Kingston Hospital NHS Trust
    Medway NHS Foundation TrustMid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
    Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust
    North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust
    Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust
    Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust
    South Warwickshire General Hospitals NHS Trust
    Stockport NHS Foundation Trust


    The project benefits mothers and babies being born in the areas around the 12 hospitals in the programme

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    The King's Fund is investing its own resources in making sure the Safer Births project can happen. We are able to coordinate different stakeholders wishing to improve maternity safety and have the credibility to manage an improvement project of this nature. We are seeking other partners to join us in making a difference of mothers and babies

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    The King's Fund Health Care Improvement Team

    A group of individuals running the project by providing project management, leadership training and clinical advice