Provision of acute medicine services for pregnant women in UK hospitals: data from the Society for Acute Medicine Benchmarking audit 2019

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Background: Medical problems during pregnancy are the leading cause of maternal mortality in the UK. Pregnant women often present through acute services to the medical team, requiring timely access to appropriate services, physicians trained to manage medical problems in pregnancy, with locally agreed guidance available. Methods: Data were collected through the Society for Acute Medicine Benchmarking Audit, a national audit of service delivery and patient care in acute medicine over a 24 hour period. Results: One hundred and thirty hospitals participated: 5.5% had an acute medicine consultant trained in obstetric medicine, and 38% of hospitals had a named lead for maternal medicine. This was not related to hospital size (p = 0.313). Sixty-four units had local guidelines for medical problems in pregnancy; 43% had a local guideline for venous thromboembolism in pregnancy. Centres with a named lead had more guidelines (p = 0.019). Conclusion: Current provision of services within acute medicine for pregnant women does not meet national recommendations.


Original languageEnglish
JournalObstetric Medicine
Early online date23 Jun 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Jun 2020


  • Pregnancy, acute care, postpartum

ASJC Scopus subject areas