Childbearing women and newborn infants continue to require care during the current COVID-19 pandemic. When staff and services are under extreme stress there is a real risk of increasing avoidable harm, including an increased risk of infection and reductions in the overall quality of care. Safety, quality, and avoiding harm must be key priorities in decision-making.
Three related review questions were addressed. All considered safety, quality and minimising avoidable harm in the provision of midwifery services:
1. What is the evidence on the impact of community care vs centralisation of care during pandemics, for childbearing women, newborn infants, families, staff, and resources?
2. How to optimise availability of midwifery expertise when staffing becomes heavily affected by the midwifery workforce being off sick, self-isolating, fear of pandemic or other major unavoidable events?
3. What is the evidence on viral load of SARS-COV-2 in domestic settings and hospitals, relevant to informing the safety of community and hospital settings for health professionals?
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Renfrew, M., Cheyne, H., Hunter, B., Downe, S., Sandall, J., Spiby, H., Dykes, F., Lavender, T. & Page, L. 2020, Optimising maternity services and maternal and newborn outcomes in a pandemic : A rapid analytic scoping review, Royal College of Midwives. Available at: https://discovery.dundee.ac.uk/en/publications/0122805a-aec8-4ba6-a1da-27256c2c0cf1