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The South West Strategic Clinical Network works in partnership with health and care commissioners (including local government) as well as providers and voluntary sector organisations to make improvements for patients, carers, the public and their families. The South West Maternity and Children’s Strategic Clinical Network brings together providers, commissioners and Public Health England via its Maternity Working Group.
The network has recently developed the South West Maternity Dashboard. This provides an insight into the health and wellbeing of mothers and babies across the south west, enabling the identification of variation, highlighting best practice and helping to drive the improvement of outcomes. We spoke to Amy Warren, Quality Improvement Lead, about the dashboard and how InstantAtlas online mapping software was used.
How did you first hear about Instant Atlas?
We were aware of InstantAtlas and how it could be used from the National Cancer Intelligence Network which used the software to present data relating to cancer in a format that can be easily accessed and understood. When the South West Maternity and Children’s Strategic Clinical Network started, member organisations made it clear they wanted to benchmark services across the region. Some maternity providers had their own dashboards, and although there was some overlap, it was difficult to compare like with like.
How did you use the software?
All fourteen maternity service providers in the region collect data on maternal and neonatal outcomes, as well as public health indicators. We decided to develop a common set of around 30 indicators that could be used to benchmark services. We worked with commissioners, clinicians, midwives and public health colleagues to develop the indicators. By the time we started working with the InstantAtlas team we already had few months of data. The appealing thing about working with the team at InstantAtlas was that we knew we would have something up and running quickly without having to create a bespoke dashboard from scratch.
How does the dashboard benefit users?
Our users include the 11 Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and 14 maternity service providers, as well as local authorities and public health bodies. The dashboard provides an insight into the health and wellbeing of mothers and babies across the south west, enabling the identification of variation, highlighting best practice and helping to drive the improvement of outcomes. For example, birth place indicators give an accurate reflection of the scale of maternal choice and allow rates of normal birth to be tracked; both of which are priorities highlighted in NHS England’s Five Year Forward View.
According to Lisa Bryant, Specialist Health Improvement Practitioner, South Gloucestershire Council, the dashboard presents the indicators in a clear, easy to read format, making comparison of data quick and easy. “It is helpful to be able to break down data by CCG or trust, especially when an area (South Gloucestershire) covers data from two trusts,” she says.
What are your plans for developing the dashboard?
Development of the dashboard remains ongoing, with a focus on data quality and improving the analytical and presentational features within the web tool. The indicators on the dashboard will also continue to evolve and be adjusted as appropriate to meet the needs of the population of the South West. We are planning to include other ways of interrogating the data such as funnel plots and scatter plots.
What are the benefits of using the InstantAtlas team for data management?
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