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Call for topic proposals for the ‘perinatal morbidity and mortality’ and ‘maternal morbidity’ confidential enquiries – now open

In addition to carrying out confidential enquiries into maternal deaths, we undertake confidential enquiries into a rolling programme of selected maternal morbidity topics and perinatal morbidity and mortality topics.

We would like to invite proposals from individuals and organisations for the forthcoming maternal morbidity confidential and the perinatal confidential enquies.

Any topic can be proposed provided that it is a topic suitable for investigation using the confidential enquiry methodology.

Topic proposals can be submitted by completing the topic proposal form and emailing the form or by emailing the topic idea to:

We welcome multiple topic proposals from the same organisations and individuals.

Suitability of a topic for confidential enquiry (see methodology below) is key and a number of topics were not able to be selected previously because they did not meet this criterion. A number of people proposed topics which require epidemiological studies to address and were therefore not suitable topics for a confidential enquiry. A number of people proposed topics which require epidemiological studies to address and were therefore not suitable topics for a confidential enquiry.

This call is open for any time of the year and proposals will be considered with the MBRRACE-UK Independent Advisory group at the first available opportunity.

The final topic choice will be made by the MBRRACE-UK Independent Advisory Group.

Confidential enquiry methodology

A confidential enquiry is a systematic process of multi-disciplinary, anonymous review of all or a sample of defined cases occurring in a defined geographical area during a defined period of time. Where the numbers of a specific type of condition are few, for example maternal deaths, it is possible and generally necessary to review all the deaths. Where numbers are large it is usual to take a sample for review. The review can take place either by individual or paired reviewers or during a panel process. Comparisons of care are made against guidelines or best practice where guidelines have not been developed. The review aim is to assess the quality of care provided in each case so as to inform future practice and improvements in care which may make a difference to future outcomes.

Proposals which describe a research project to estimate the incidence and prevalence of a condition, to investigate risk factors and described the management of a condition are generally not suitable topics for a confidential enquiry.

To aid in the development of a topic proposal which is more likely to succeed, we have provided a sample of a proposal form where the topic was selected.

We have also provided a sample of a topic proposal form where the topic was NOT selected.

The programme of topics and the timetable for the confidential enquiries is as follows:

Confidential enquiry topics already selected
Confidential enquiry topic Start date Publication date
Maternal – serious maternal morbidity topics:
Severe maternal sepsis 2013 Dec 2014
Admission with post-partum psychosis in women with a history of bipolar disorder or previous post-partum psychosis 2014 Dec 2017
Women with artificial heart valves 2015 Dec 2016
Women with severe epilepsy 2016 Dec 2017
Massive obstetric haemorrhage including cases where a peripartum hysterectomy was performed 2017 Nov 2018
Breast cancer in Pregnancy 2018 2019
Pulmonary embolism 2019 2020
Older maternal age 2020 2021
Multiple maternal morbidities 2021 2022
Multiple repeat caesarean section complications 2022 2023
Perinatal – mortality and serious infant morbidity:
Congenital diaphragmatic hernia 2013 Dec 2014
Antepartum stillbirth in term normally formed infants 2014 Nov 2015
Intrapartum stillbirths and intrapartum related neonatal deaths (up to 28 days after birth) 2016 2017
Twins 2018 2020
Baby deaths to mothers of black, Asian and white ethnicity 2020 2023

Updated: Thursday, 29 September 2022 12:06 (v50)