Maternal & Child Health


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.

Through taking an Evidence into Practice approach, 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 in Scotland.

Our Current Focus

We are currently analysing data from three regional workshops held across Scotland.  During the workshops barriers, strategies and best practice were gathered in relation to evidence based statements on improving breastfeeding and kangaroo care practices in neonatal units.

Thoughts about the workshops can be seen in our "talking heads" video clip below.

What's Been Happening

Initially, evidence-based statements were gathered to form an online consultation and staff were asked to identify what impact these evidence-based recommendations would have within their units and how feasible it would be to implement 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.  Three regional workshops were then 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.  During the workshops, delegates were invited to explore the barriers to implementation and share strategies and bright ideas in relation to the evidence base.  In addition the delegates were encouraged to share good practice examples and key messages from wider discussions were captured.

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 parent-baby attachment. 

Details of the agendas, film clips and presentations from the workshops are available by visiting Maternal & Child Health Workshops


Key People


Next Steps

Recognising that not all neonatal unit staff could attend the workshops and that different views and ideas were shared at each one; an analysis of the quantitative and qualitative data captured has been completed.  The workstream facilitator is currently offering visits to all neonatal units, third sector organisations and other key stakeholders to share the findings of the project so far.  A booklet summarising the main barriers and enablers in relation to both skin-to-skin kangaroo care and breastfeeding at an organisational, unit and individual level is being disseminated as well as an infographic of the key themes emerging from the data.  It is anticipated that the next steps of the project will be co-produced in collaboration with the units and SISCC.  Meanwhile, SISCC will summarise all findings from the online consultation and workshops.  These will presented in a final report 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 final report 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 final report (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.


Outputs from the Maternal & Child Health Workstream can be accessed on our publications page.

Useful Links