A message from our Senior Methodological Lead

The National Maternity and Perinatal Audit: Senior Methodological Lead

My name is Jan van der Meulen and I am the Senior Methodological Lead of the NMPA and I chair the NMPA Project Team. I work as Professor of Clinical Epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. My work at the LSHTM, apart from contributing to the NMPA, addresses questions about variation in NHS care and its impact on outcomes. Simply put, my research team aims to get a better understanding of why patients with the same health issue get different treatments and why patients who undergo the same treatment get different outcomes.

The National Maternity and Perinatal Audit is the largest evaluation project of maternity services in the world. A project of this scale is only possible if many people work closely together. Since its start in June 2016, the NMPA has brought together a multidisciplinary team including senior clinicians representing the RCM, RCOG and RCPCH, clinical fellows, data managers, and analysts. Some team members are based at the Department of Health Services Research and Policy of the LSHTM.

Collaboration is also at the heart of our relationship with our data partners. We have established direct links with NHS Digital for England, the Information Services Division Scotland, and the NHS Wales Informatics Service. We realise that our data partners can only provide us with maternity data because it is first collected by all the NHS maternity units. In short, babies but also data are being delivered in labour wards across the country. I hope that by analysing and reporting this wealth of data we are helping to improve the quality of care that the NHS provides to all mothers and their babies.