Evidence Review to Support the Implementation of Best Start: Summary of Key Findings

John Connolly, Jean Rankin, Charis Miller (Contributor), Seona Hamilton (Contributor)

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned reportpeer-review


The ’Best Start A Five Year Forward Plan for Maternity and Neonatal Care’ policy document sets out a vision for the future planning, design and safe delivery of high quality maternity and neonatal services in Scotland (Scottish Government, 2017). Drivers recognised for change include population health and demographic trends, the need for quality improvement, workforce pressures and emerging evidence relevant to the needs of women and their families. The recommendations proposed within this policy need to be appropriately implemented and embedded within the everyday practice of the multi-professional maternity services workforce in Scotland.

Scottish Government commissioned University of the West of Scotland to conduct a literature review to provide up-to-date evidence to underpin key objectives relevant to the implementation of this national plan. This review was completed with support from Healthcare Improvement Scotland and NHS Health Scotland.

The purpose of this evidence review was to search the UK and Scandinavian literature over the last
ten years to help understand relevant evidence to update the implementation of the Scottish
Government’s Best Start plan in relation to the following areas of interest:

1) Place of birth in different settings with regards to the Scottish context.
2) The woman and her experience within her own biopsychosocial context.
3) Transfer considered as a factor in choice of birthplace.
4) Realistic medicine and the need to reduce unnecessary interventions.
5) Identification of the level of medical, obstetric or social complexity that would require
specific care pathways.

The key areas of the review naturally interrelate with each other but are of equal importance in light of the Best Start strategy.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherUniversity of the West of Scotland
Commissioning bodyThe Scottish Government
Number of pages25
Publication statusUnpublished - 29 Apr 2020


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