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Maternity is a part of the whole safety system

02 July 2018
Volume 26 · Issue 7


Training to ensure safety in maternity care is an important consideration for every health professional. But why, asks Louise Silverton, is there so much variation across services?

Safety is high up on the health agenda—and rightly so. Providing evidence-based, safe, quality care, first time, is effective and makes efficient use of resources. However, there is one aspect that puzzles me, and that is why we are not better at sharing good practice. This is true between care sectors and specialties as well as within them. Regular readings of Roy Lilley's thought-provoking blogs on NHS management and policy ( and the Academy of Fabulous Stuff (, a website that aims to share best practice, simply makes me scratch my head.

How much time does it take to roll out best practice and why does it take so long? How is it that some changes occur much quicker than others? Change is not fast, but it should not be glacial.

Human factors are defined as:

‘Enhancing clinical performance through an understanding of the effects of teamwork, tasks, equipment, workspace, culture and organisation on human behaviour and abilities and application of that knowledge in clinical settings.’

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