Evaluation of the Maternity Transformation Early Adopter Programme

Client: NHS England

In February 2016 the National Maternity Review 'Better Births' was published, setting out a compelling view of what maternity services should look like in the future. The vision is clear: maternity services should work together across organisational boundaries to provide a service that is kind, professional and safe, offering women informed choice and a better experience by personalising their care.

NHS England selected seven sites across England – the 'Early Adopters' - to deliver this vision at pace during 2017 and 2018. Each Early Adopter was supported to develop and pilot innovative models and solutions to transform local maternity services, and in doing so produce learning to inform the wider rollout of Better Births' recommendations across the country.

SQW was commissioned by NHS England to evaluate the Early Adopters programme. SQW's evaluation ran alongside local implementation, and generated learning on best practice and challenges involved in delivering continuity of carer, electronic records, increased choice and personalisation, and improved postnatal care. It also identified a range of benefits to women, staff and the healthcare system arising from changes implemented by the Early Adopters, including evidence of women having a better and more consistent experience of care, as well as indications of improved clinical outcomes.