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Report Offer Opportunity to Link Maternity Data to National Data Sets for Intensive Care Admissions

A new report from the National Maternity and Perinatal Audit (NMPA) focuses on maternal admissions to intensive care in England, Wales and Scotland. The NMPA offer a unique opportunity to link maternity data, which contain information about the mother, her pregnancy and her baby, to data from national data sets for intensive care admissions. The report describes the feasibility of linking the NMPA’s maternity data to intensive care data and to evaluate the suitability of rates of maternal admission to intensive care as an indicator of care quality. It also describes the demographics of women admitted to intensive care and the reasons for admission.

This report shows that the linkage of maternity data to intensive care data offers the potential to understand the demographic factors underlying admission to intensive care, and the timing of intensive care admission relative to birth. However, as NHS organisations differ in their configuration of care for women who are critically ill during pregnancy, birth or the postnatal period, criteria for admission to intensive care varies so admissions to intensive care do not reliably indicate severe maternal morbidity. In different hospitals women with the same clinical condition may be cared for in different settings.

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