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Interprofessional team trust in maternity services: a service evaluation

02 March 2023
Volume 31 · Issue 3



A climate of trust in maternity may improve the experiences of staff and women accessing maternity services. The aim of this study was to explore how a climate of trust was promoted through creation of a regular virtual maternity multidisciplinary forum, known as a maternal medicine huddle, during the COVID-19 pandemic and what influence this had on the organisational culture of a local maternity system and the experiences of women receiving maternity care.


Through a critical feminist methodology, six participants were interviewed using a semi-structured interview schedule. Interviews were conducted through Miscrosoft Teams, with the six participants representing each of the six trusts in a selected local maternity and neonatal system.


Developing trust for teamwork is valued, while at the same time interprofessional and interorganisation challenges are highlighted that can impact workplace culture.


The huddles have built a climate of trust, working to deliver safe, equitable care for those using maternity services and a supportive learning environment for those providing it.

The importance of leadership in developing and maintaining a climate of trust is well documented (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), 2012; Mahon, 2013; Drescher et al, 2014; Frith et al, 2014;West and Coia, 2019;West, 2021). The literature identifies trust as ‘central to any relationship’, allied with quality (Berwick, 2003; O’Brien et al, 2021), and a highly prized value of the NHS (King’s Fund, 2014). The complexity of trust in healthcare is highlighted through different authors’ accounts in the literature. Mahon (2013) describes it as in transition; it is influenced by power dynamics (Tanco et al, 2016) and gender, ethnicity, age and education (Meyer and Ward, 2008).

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