A checklist collaborative: involving birth partners in delivering harm free care NHS Quest

  • Project led by NHS Quest (now called Haelo) in partnership with Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust.
  • Focused on maternity care during labour.
  • Aimed to improve safety and communication during labour and birth, and encourage women and partners women to play an active role in their care.
  • Developed and tested a safety checklist for birth partners to complete in collaboration with midwives.

The project team set out to develop an evidence-based safety checklist for birth partners to complete in collaboration with midwives. The aim was to support the delivery of harm free care and to raise awareness about when things should happen during labour and why. The checklist was designed to enable birth partners to track events in real time and to encourage interaction with midwives during deviations from the normal anticipated progress of labour.

The team followed a plan, do, study, act approach during the project and held focus groups to generate ideas for the checklist. They tested the checklist in three maternity settings to determine its acceptability and usefulness, and gathered qualitative feedback through interviews, focus groups and online surveys.

Who was involved

The project was run by the NHS Quest network of foundation trusts (now called Haelo) and led by the organisation's Director of Engagement and Leadership (maternity). Other team members included the improvement lead and a project manager.


  • Over 80% of midwives offered the checklist to birth partners.
  • No partners found the checklist unhelpful, but a minority of midwives did.
  • More partners returned positive views than midwives, while a greater number of midwives were ambivalent.


The team encountered resistance to the checklist from frontline midwives and found it helpful to spend time explaining the rationale for the work to each participating midwife.

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