Downloadable document (PDF) highlighting the current state of progress of the Hub
We hope that this finds you well, and that you managed to enjoy some down time over the Summer. This is a short update on what the Maternity and Neonatal Data Hub for Scotland have been doing recently.
One recommendation of ‘The Best Start – A Five Year Forward Plan for Maternity and Neonatal Care in Scotland’ was to establish a Maternity and Neonatal Data Hub. Best Start also recommended that “…national level maternity and neonatal dashboards should be developed to facilitate benchmarking and reduce variations in care”.
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the Maternity and Neonatal Data Hub for Scotland, as it has everything else. Work in 2020/21 differed from planned activities. As part of our COVID-19 response last year, Public Health Scotland created a data dashboard showing wider impacts of COVID-19 at https://scotland.shinyapps.io/phs-covid-wider-impact/. This includes data on many aspects of maternity care in Scotland including: breastfeeding; stillbirths, neonatal and infant deaths; antenatal booking appointments (numbers and average gestation; from the new Antenatal Booking Collection data return); terminations of pregnancy (numbers and average gestation), and deliveries (gestation, mode (including C-section), whether induced, Apgar scores <7, and preterm births at NICU sites).
Despite the ongoing pressures of COVID-19 we have resumed work on a number of fronts and wanted to give you a quick progress report on each of our five work streams:
The hub is a collaboration involving five delivery partners (the Scottish Perinatal Network, Healthcare Improvement Scotland, Scottish Government, National Records of Scotland, and Public Health Scotland). We are also maintaining links to colleagues undertaking similar national work in England (NHS Digital) and Wales, to UK-wide audits and with IT system suppliers.
The Programme Board (with representation from all five partners) continues to meet quarterly to discuss progress with new data acquisition and display.
In July we shared a stakeholder survey with all those who get these e-mail updates, to gather your views. Thanks to those of you who responded, despite the extraordinary pressures on maternity and neonatal services at present. We are analysing what you told us and will use your feedback to take stock of our successes, review any concerns and plan appropriate actions for the future. In general feedback was positive but we were reminded that our temporary solution to host documents using google drive is not accessible to all, and we are considering alternatives.
With the assistance of the Scottish Perinatal Network (one of our five delivery partners) we have established a web presence at https://www.perinatalnetwork.scot/data/. Each of the hub’s workstreams is described, and links are provided to the resources that the hub has already developed. These include data dashboards and a Topics Index showing where maternity and neonatal data is already available. Take a look and let us know what you think. What would you like to know more about? How could the hub help you more? Let us know using the e-mails at the foot of this message.
Laura Hayes, who was the Hub project manager, has now gone on maternity leave. We hope that all goes well and we can persuade her to re-join us in a year. In Laura’s absence we have been lucky enough to secure project management assistance from Iona Douglas.
The Maternity and Neonatal Data Access Liaison Group for Scotland (MaNDALS) was established to share updates from multiple parallel conversations involving organisations who require all-Scotland-consistent data for national purposes from clinical information systems (mainly BadgerNet), and to align these conversations. The group met for a fifth time at the end of September.
We continue to work with National Services Scotland Digital and Security (DaS) colleagues, with colleagues in NHS Boards, and with Clevermed – who provide the BadgerNet systems – to bring nationally-consistent maternity and neonatal data from clinical systems on to the Seer data holding and analysis platform that DaS have built. We are embarked in commercial negotiations with Clevermed to agree a subscription service contract to allow access to maternity and neonatal data that they hold on behalf of Scottish NHS boards.
We have established a new routine antenatal booking data collection; data from this is published monthly on the wider impacts dashboard mentioned above. Since March 2021, mother’s ethnicity is gathered in this data flow.
We are developing additional future antenatal booking data items. We have also been exploring other potential modules of an Enhanced Maternity Dataset for Scotland (EMaDS). After input from our Programme Board we have decided to focus initially on booking and delivery episodes. We have started development work on both of these and anticipate engaging with stakeholders on draft proposals this winter. We have also recently restarted work on data regarding early pregnancy.
We have finalised a dataset for routine submission. We are discussing with Clevermed (and NHS Boards) how we can have this dataset routinely available, how data will be stored (in the Seer platform mentioned earlier) and planning how data should be presented. Once we have confirmed some IT details, we will be writing to Caldicott Guardians to describe the secure data transfer method(s) we plan to use. Discussions are ongoing with the National Neonatal Network on how best to support their needs.
We previously developed a dashboard demonstrator, which is still available at https://readymag.com/PHIDigital/MatNeoDemonstrator/, that provides links to existing data displays.
To extend this, we have developed a “Topics Index”. This catalogues individual maternity and neonatal measures already available, including those on the wider impacts dashboard, Discovery, NMPA, NNAP and PHS websites. We appreciate the Google Sheets platform may not be available to all our users and are working to develop a more sophisticated accessible platform for the catalogue. In the meantime, if you cannot access the hyperlink above and would like to view the Topics Index, please contact the Hub Programme Team (email@example.com) and we will seek alternative ways of sharing the index with you.
Having agreed the most appropriate data display platform(s) for maternity CORE measures with our Programme Board, we are developing additional displays to add to the existing public-access wider impacts dashboard (and its successor post-COVID) and to the access-controlled Discovery dashboard.
Members of the programme team are continuing to work with a National Neonatal Network Data Group, to develop a companion neonatal dashboard CORE.
Our colleagues in the maternity analytical team in Public Health Scotland are preparing the annual Births in Scotland publication. This will be released in November. Next spring they plan to release a companion Scottish Antenatal Booking Statistics publication that uses the new Antenatal Booking Collection data.
Thank you for reading this update. If you have any queries or comments, please do get in touch and we will be happy to help you further.
We hope you and yours stay safe and well. Here’s hoping that, now so many of us have been vaccinated, what remains of 2021 will bring us all more joy!
Very best wishes
Iona, Meena and Alastair
You can also contact us via our generic email address for the Hub Programme: firstname.lastname@example.org