LSTM’s Professor van den Broek edits special supplement about Quality of Care

Tue, 23 September 2014



Head of LSTM’s Centre for Maternal and Newborn Health (CMNH), Professor Nynke van den Broek, has acted as Editor for a special supplement for BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, which has been published online.

The supplement, which is entitled International Reviews: Quality of Care includes review articles, country studies and commentaries focussing on the vital issue of providing and being able to accurately assess the quality of care for maternal and newborn health. Professor van den Broek edits the supplement along with Professor Gwyneth Lewis OBE, Director of International Maternal Health Research, Institute of Women’s Health, University College London and Matthews Mathai, the Coordinator of the Epidemiology, Monitoring and Evaluation Team and the Focal Point for Maternal and Perinatal Health in WHO’s Department of Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health

In the foreword, written by Sarah Brown, a member of the External Advisory Group for CMNH Global Patron of the White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood, describes the Editors as “long standing champions of quality of care” and says that all of the contributors to the reviews, which include several staff from CMNH, as “internationally recognised experts”. She explains that even with all of the achievements of the last few years, looking forward to a post Millennium Development Goals landscape, that quality of care is essential if we are to make vital progress and continue to reduce maternal and child mortality.

The Editors jointly call for a continued improvement of the quality of care, stating that a renewed global focus on Quality of Care is vital if crucial improvements to health outcomes for mothers and babies are to be achieved. They focus on the importance of maternal and perinatal death audit, development of standards and standards based audit as evidence based methods to help identify where and how Quality of Care can be improved. Poor Quality of Care is often due to weak health systems or problems with implementation rather the fault of the individual and a ‘no shame, no blame’ approach is essential if change is to occur.

Professor van den Broek said: “I am incredibly proud to have been asked to edit this special supplement. It brings together some of the leading researchers in the field of maternal and newborn heath in the world today, some of whom work with us here in CMNH. Too many women globally still die during or immediately after childbirth, many babies are stillborn or die in the first hours or days after birth and it has never been more important for us to be able to understand what Quality of Care really means, how it can be measured and improved. The supplement highlights experiences from across the globe with regard to introducing and implementing different types of audit to improve quality of care and is full of excellent examples of good practice highlighting this very important strategic area in global Maternal and Newborn health.”

The supplement is now available online by clicking here.