A multi-site audit to assess how women with complex social factors access and engage with maternity services

Hannah Rayment-Jones, Eleanor Butler, Chelsie Miller, Christine Nay, Jennifer O’Dowd

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Objective: To audit women with socially complex lives’ documented access to and engagement with antenatal care provided by three inner city, UK maternity services in relation to birth and neonatal outcomes, and referral processes.

Background: Women living socially complex lives, including young mothers, recently arrived immigrants, non-English speaking, and those experiencing domestic violence, poor mental health, drug and alcohol abuse, and poverty experience high rates of morbidity, mortality and poor birth outcomes. This is associated with late access to and poor engagement with antenatal care.

Method: Data was collected from three separate NHS trusts data management systems for a total of 182 women living socially complex lives, between January and December 2015. Data was presented by individual trust and compared to standards derived from NICE guidelines, local trust policy and national statistic using Excel and SPSS Version 22. Tests of correlation were carried out to minimise risks of confounding factors in characteristic differences.

Results: Non-English speaking women were much less likely to have accessed care within the recommended timeframes, with over 70% of the sample not booked for maternity care by 12 weeks gestation. On average 89% primiparous women across all samples had less than the recommended number of antenatal appointments. No sample met the audit criteria in terms of number of antenatal appointments attended. Data held on the perinatal data management systems for a number of outcomes and processes was largely incomplete and appeared unreliable.

Conclusion: This data forms a baseline against which to assess the impact of future service developments aimed at improving access and engagement with services for women living with complex social factors. The audit identified issues with the completeness and reliability of data on the perinatal data management system.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-77
Number of pages7
Early online date27 Jun 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 27 Jun 2017

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