Maternal & Child Health Workstream

Maternal & Child Health Workstream

Maternal and child health is a highlighted as a priority area in the Route Map to the 2020 vision for health and social care in Scotland.   Our work aims to create sustained improvements to the quality of care given to mothers and babies.

The projects within this Workstream, will give us a better insight into the mechanisms of implementation and change at scale.  It is anticipated that the projects within this Workstream will provide us with clearer insight into the mechanisms to support large-scale, sustainable change, which can translate into other areas of health and social care improvement.

The first project within the maternal and child health work stream focuses on improving breastfeeding and parent-baby attachment through kangaroo care within neonatal units.

Our Current Focus

We are currently engaging with Neonatal Units to participate in this project, assess their readiness for change and identify examples of good practice in breastfeeding and kangaroo care.  Units will be encouraged to complete the questionnaire to support them in identifying their baseline practice and support them in preparation for their BFI accreditation.  

The November 2016 Snapshot report can be read here

What's Been Happening?

The evidence-based statements have been brought together in a questionnaire to help staff identify what impact these evidence recommendations would have within their units and how feasible it would be to introduce these.  

The results of this online consultation process have been presented to key stakeholders from neonatal units across Scotland and included representatives from parent advocate groups.  Three regional workshops were held in March and April 2017, in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow. 

The workshops enabled further consultation and consideration of the evidence-base that supports breastfeeding and skin-to-skin kangaroo care practice in neonatal units.  It enabled delegates to explore the barriers and facilitators around the implementation of these practices to support improvements in care and outcomes for babies and their families.  And in doing so consider bright ideas and strategies to support implementation and share examples of good practice across the units. 

As well as examining the evidence-base in detail; delegates had the opportunity to learn more about Government policies, Baby Friendly Initiative activities, patient safety initiatives and examples of great practice from across Scotland and Sweden, supporting breastfeeding and attachment.  Details of the agendas and presentations are below:

Glasgow – 29th March 2017

Edinburgh – 19th April 2017

Aberdeen – 24th March 2017

Key People








Gill Milner 

What's next?

Recognising that not all neonatal unit staff could attend the workshops and that different views and ideas were shared at each of the workshops; an analysis of the quantitative and qualitative data captured at the workshops is currently underway.  This will be used to develop a ‘blueprint’ that will summarise the findings from the online consultation and workshops.  Highlighting the evidence-based interventions that are likely to have the most impact and be highly feasible; along with suggested implementation strategies and support. 

Dissemination of the blueprint will be delivered in conjunction with the neonatal units and it’s anticipated that it will be utilised by Units to prioritise and develop local implementation plans to support changes in practice to improve breastfeeding and skin-to-skin kangaroo care in neonatal units. 

If you would like a copy of the blueprint (when published) or become involved in supporting this project, please get in touch.


In addition to the improvement and implementation work that’s being undertaken, the SISCC team are currently planning a detailed evaluation using this evidence-into-practice example to gain a better understanding of the elements that support large-scale sustainable change and strengthen the evidence-base for improvement and implementation science.