Maternity inspection programme

Page last updated: 17 July 2023

Published: 11 July 2022

We're beginning a new maternity inspection programme soon. It aims to help maternity services improve, both at local and national levels.

Why we're undertaking this programme

Maternity services across the country are facing significant challenges. Our programme will give an overview of the quality and safety of maternity care across England.

The programme will:

  • show how services are responding to current challenges and what extra help they may need
  • give women and their families an up to date view of the quality of maternity care at their local hospital trust
  • give hospitals an objective assessment of what they are doing well and how they can improve
  • help us understand what is working well so we can share good practice to help services learn and improve
  • help us show where there needs to be national action to combat the challenges services face

What the programme involves

We will inspect all NHS acute hospital maternity services we have not inspected and rated since April 2021.

Our inspectors will carry out the inspections supported by a maternity specialist adviser. Specialist advisers work alongside our inspectors to add specific clinical expertise.

We've listened to views and experiences of frontline maternity staff and key stakeholders. We used these to develop the assessment framework we will use for these inspections.

We'll publish reports on our findings for each trust. We also plan to share the wider themes and good practice we identify across the programme.