Page 2 of 3

Life Events Research Paper – ‘Having a Baby’

The Commission for Rural Communities commissioned a Life Events research paper on ‘Having a baby’, with NPEU and NCT working together on this project.

The objective was to bring together information on service needs and provision in rural areas in relation to the major life event of pregnancy and childbirth, including previous work focusing on the diverse needs of rural communities.

As a review of current practice and research, the paper formed part of a larger project looking in depth at the service needs and adequacy of delivery responses following five other major life events in rural areas. Major life events act as entry points into a complex service setting and many providers are commonly involved, needs are multiple, complicated and can overlap different areas of service delivery.

Providing maternity services in rural areas presents many challenges. The key issues in delivering care to women and families in rural areas are location and accessibility, the range of services provided and staff able to provide the care.

The paper presents what is known of the evidence base on users’ needs and maternity services in rural communities with the aim of being used inform further research on the topic. It supplies contextual, background and research evidence about maternity services, the guidelines for these and more broadly, highlights some of the gaps in knowledge that are pertinent to the study. Thus the mixture of needs which change over time from pregnancy through childbirth and postnatal care, over approximately a twelve month period for any woman and her family are reflected in the report.

The Team

Rachel Rowe (NPEU), University of Oxford.

Julie Jomeen,Midwifery and Women's Health, University of Hull.

Mary Newburn and Vanita Bhavnani, the National Childbirth Trust (NCT).

The report was completed by the research team at the end of 2009.

Perinatal mortality and morbidity: linking databases

"Perinatal mortality and morbidity: linking databases" was a joint project between the Oxford Register of Early Childhood Impairments (ORECI) and the Confidential Enquiry into Stillbirths and Deaths in Infancy (CESDI).

The project was funded by CESDI and is now complete.

Recorded delivery: a national survey of women's experience of maternity care 2006

The report presents the results of a recent survey of women's views about their maternity care. The last national survey of women's experience of maternity care 'First class delivery' was carried out in 1995. The study findings provide a picture of current practice and a way of measuring change over the last ten years and in the future. The data collected and reported can inform policy in maternity care, suggest ways in which maternity care can be improved and provide a point of comparison for local audits of women's views and experiences in individual Trusts.

The research was funded by the Department of Health, the Healthcare Commission and the Information Centre for Health and Social Care.


2006 survey methodology: a random sample of 4800 women was selected by the Office for National Statistics from birth registration for births in one week in March 2006. Women whose babies had died and mothers less than sixteen years of age were excluded. The usable response rate for the postal survey was 63%; 13% of respondents came from Black and Ethnic Minority groups. Nearly three thousand recent mothers across England responded to the survey, conducted in 2006, giving their views on the care and information they received through pregnancy, birth and postnatally, both in hospital and at home.

Contact Information

Rachel Rowe
01865 289713

Neonatal Networks, admissions and transfers: the perspectives of networks, neonatal units and parents

A national survey of neonatal units, commissioned by BLISS the premature baby charity, was designed and carried out by the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit in 2006. This survey focused on fundamental issues associated with the organisation of neonatal care, transfers and the role of neonatal networks. It followed on from a survey completed in 2005 by the NPEU, looking at policy and organisation.

The new report, which includes an executive summary, presents key findings on managed clinical networks in neonatal care, neonatal unit capacity, staffing, transfers and parent's views and experiences about admission and transfer.

Commissioned by: BLISS.

Authors: Maggie Redshaw and Karen Hamilton.

Page 2 of 3

Subscribe to this news feed