To explore the modifications to maternity services across the UK, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, in the context of the pandemic guidance issued by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), Royal College of Midwives (RCM) and NHS England.
National survey.
UK maternity services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Healthcare professionals working within maternity services.
A national electronic survey was developed to investigate local modifications to general and specialist maternity care during the COVID-19 pandemic, in the context of the contemporaneous national pandemic guidance. After a pilot phase, the survey was distributed through professional networks by the RCOG and co-authors. The survey results were presented descriptively in tabular and graphic formats, with proportions compared using chi-squared tests.
Service modifications made during the pandemic.
81 respondent sites, 42% of 194 obstetric units in the UK, were included. They reported substantial and heterogeneous maternity service modifications. 70% of units reported a reduction in antenatal appointments and 56% in postnatal appointments; 89% reported using remote consultation methods. 70% reported a change to screening pathways for gestational diabetes mellitus. 59% had temporarily removed the offer of births at home or in a midwife-led unit. 86% of units experienced a reduction in emergency antenatal presentations.
This national survey documents the extensive impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on maternity services in the UK. More research is needed to understand the impact on maternity outcomes and experience.

This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

References

PubMed