Health Secretary’s speech highlights the work of Southmead’s Maternity Services

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has highlighted the “outstanding care” provided by Southmead Hospital’s maternity unit and outlined plans to roll out their successful PROMPT (PRactical Obstetric Multi-Professional Training) scheme to Trusts across England.  

In a major speech today, the Health Secretary, who visited Southmead Hospital in July, unveiled measures designed to further improve maternity safety in the NHS, which includes £8 million for hospitals to roll out multi-disciplinary training packages, such as PROMPT.

Pioneered by Professor Tim Draycott, Cathy Winter and a team at Southmead Maternity Unit, the PROMPT scheme is an evidence-based multi-professional training package for obstetric emergencies. The scheme has been associated with some of the lowest child mortality rates in Europe.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt during his vist to Southmead Hospital Bristol's maternity unit in July

It is associated with direct improvements in perinatal outcome and has been proven to improve knowledge, clinical skills and team working.

Consultant Obstetrician Professor Tim Draycott, said: “We are proud that our maternity carers and researchers’ work has been recognised, and we will continue to support our research teams to reach out across the world to promote safer birth together.”

Mr Hunt also outlined 10 key actions the NHS will take over the next year to improve maternity safety, including a £250,000 Maternity Safety Innovation Fund to help create and pilot new ideas for improving maternity care, such as PROMPT. 

The Maternity Safety Innovation Fund will provide resources to Trusts to improve their approach to maternity safety, and make sure lessons are learned from mistakes and shared openly and transparently across the NHS.

The PROMPT scheme is now coordinated by the PROMPT Maternity Foundation; a registered charity in England and Wales.