Perinatal staff perceptions of safety and quality in their service

Suzanne Sinni, Euan Morrison Wallace, Wendy Michele Cross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Ensuring safe and appropriate service delivery is central to a high quality maternity service. With this in mind, over recent years much attention has been given to the development of evidence-based clinical guidelines, staff education and risk reporting systems. Less attention has been given to assessing staff perceptions of a service?s safety and quality and what factors may influence that. In this study we set out to assess staff perceptions of safety and quality of a maternity service and to explore potential influences on service safety.MethodsThe study was undertaken within a new low risk metropolitan maternity service in Victoria, Australia with a staffing profile comprising midwives (including students), neonatal nurses, specialist obstetricians, junior medical staff and clerical staff. In depth open-ended interviews using a semi-structured questionnaire were conducted with 23 staff involved in the delivery of perinatal care, including doctors, midwives, nurses, nursing and midwifery students, and clerical staff. Data were analyzed using naturalistic interpretive inquiry to identify emergent themes.ResultsStaff unanimously reported that there were robust systems and processes in place to maintain safety and quality. Three major themes were apparent: (1) clinical governance, (2) dominance of midwives, (3) inter-professional relationships. Overall, there was a strong sense that, at least in this midwifery-led service, midwives had the greatest opportunity to be an influence, both positively and negatively, on the safe delivery of perinatal care. The importance of understanding team dynamics, particularly mutual respect, trust and staff cohesion, were identified as key issues for potential future service improvement.ConclusionsSenior staff, particularly midwives and neonatal nurses, play central roles in shaping team behaviors and attitudes that may affect the safety and quality of service delivery. We suggest that strategies targeting senior staff to
Original languageEnglish
Article number591
Pages (from-to)1 - 9
Number of pages9
JournalBMC Health Services Research
Volume14
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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