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OBJECTIVE: To develop a core metric set to monitor the quality of maternity care. DESIGN: Delphi process followed by a face-to-face consensus meeting. SETTING: English maternity units. POPULATION: Three representative expert panels: service designers, providers and users. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Maternity care metrics judged important by participants. METHODS: Participants were asked to complete a two-phase Delphi process, scoring metrics from existing local maternity dashboards. A consensus meeting discussed the results and re-scored the metrics. RESULTS: In all, 125 distinct metrics across six domains were identified from existing dashboards. Following the consensus meeting, 14 metrics met the inclusion criteria for the final core set: smoking rate at booking; rate of birth without intervention; caesarean section delivery rate in Robson group 1 women; caesarean section delivery rate in Robson group 2 women; caesarean section delivery rate in Robson group 5 women; third- and fourth-degree tear rate among women delivering vaginally; rate of postpartum haemorrhage of ≥1500 ml; rate of successful vaginal birth after a single previous caesarean section; smoking rate at delivery; proportion of babies born at term with an Apgar score <7 at 5 minutes; proportion of babies born at term admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit; proportion of babies readmitted to hospital at <30 days of age; breastfeeding initiation rate; and breastfeeding rate at 6-8 weeks. CONCLUSIONS: Core outcome set methodology can be used to incorporate the views of key stakeholders in developing a core metric set to monitor the quality of care in maternity units, thus enabling improvement. TWEETABLE ABSTRACT: Achieving consensus on core metrics for monitoring the quality of maternity care.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





1612 - 1618


Core outcome set, Delphi process, dashboard, indicator, maternity service, quality improvement, quality of care, Benchmarking, Consensus, Delphi Technique, Female, Humans, Maternal Health Services, Pregnancy, Prenatal Care, State Medicine, United Kingdom