15 Steps for Maternity

What is the 15 Steps?

“I can tell what kind of care my daughter is going to get within 15 Steps of walking on to a ward”, said a mum whose daughter was regularly admitted to hospital due to an ongoing health condition.

Based on the ethos of teamwork within MVPs, the 15 Steps toolkit is a new method which looks at maternity services from the perspective of those who use them. It explores their first impressions of care, their surroundings and the overall experience across their maternity journey.

How does the 15 Steps for Maternity work?

  1. The MVP agrees a time to do the 15 Steps
  2. The MVP facilitates small teams made up of a recent user, a provider staff member and one other; could be a commissioner or trust board member
  3. Each small team visits maternity settings to get a ‘feel’ for the environment and care provided there, using the Observation Guides as a prompt
  4. Initial thoughts are provided to the staff member responsible for that setting
  5. Findings discussed and any actions agreed either when the small teams re-gather or during a regular MVP meeting.
An Introduction to the 15 Steps for Maternity (PDF)

Introduction to the toolkit and what it can help you to achieve.

15 Steps for Maternity toolkit (NHS England)

Download the 15 Steps for Maternity poster (PDF) to advertise your walkaround to staff and women.

Feedback on using the 15 Steps for Maternity

Feedback from Leeds 15 Steps pilot site
“The headings were clear to help us know what to look out for and the fact that there was a toolkit gave us confidence in the service.  The fact that there were professionals involved reassured that patients’ views were taken seriously.  The day was enjoyable; doing something different and working in groups made you feel that you were doing something important and you weren’t alone.  We felt on the same level as the professionals.  It was great to meet new people.”
Feedback from pilot site the Whittington
“Piloting the 15 Steps for Maternity was a great opportunity for us.  We really appreciated having a full day and everyone came back full of ideas after taking their 15 steps.  We’ve been working hard ever since to make the changes we felt were needed.  An incredibly constructive and positive day!”
Isle of Wight 15 Steps pilot site
Reading 15 Steps pilot site
Birmingham & Solihull MVP

See how Birmingham & Solihull MVP got on when they undertook the 15 Steps for Maternity Challenge including videos from service users and midwives who took part.

Rochdale & Oldham MVP

“So we started off with the Observation Guides and we timed ourselves at 15/20 minutes in each area as the toolkit indicates. But we found that we could have spent way longer in each area. Going down the Areas to Consider systematically was taking our focus off looking around, so we basically resorted to just writing down our observations as a group. We did get a lot of good stuff around communication through to the Director of Midwifery – he met with us pre and post walk round. It was fab!”

Fifteen Steps across a Local Maternity System

GMEC LMS 15 Steps reportGreater Manchester and Eastern Cheshire (GMEC) Local Maternity System (LMS) asked their MVP leads to facilitate the 15 Steps challenge across all ten maternity units in their LMS. The aims of the project were to kick-start co-production across the local maternity services, lay foundations for establishing effective MVPs where they were not yet in place and work collaboratively to suggest environmental changes to maternity spaces.

View the GMEC LMS 15 Steps report (PDF 10.2MB)