3 Gaps in the evidence

3 Gaps in the evidence

The Safe Staffing Advisory Committee identified a number of gaps in the available evidence and expert comment related to the topics being considered. These are summarised below.

  • There is no evidence available that reports midwifery staffing and outcomes on an individual woman and baby level or shift level. Organisational level data is available, but this aggregate data does not allow exploration of different staffing ratios on outcomes.

  • There is limited evidence directly identifying the relationship between midwifery staffing and maternal or neonatal outcomes. Where data is available, there is a lack of evidence establishing links between midwifery staffing levels and skill mix and outcomes.

  • There is no evidence about organisational factors that might modify the relationship between midwifery staffing and outcomes.

  • There is limited evidence about staffing, environmental and management factors that might modify the relationship between midwifery staffing requirements and outcomes.

  • There is a lack of evidence focusing on outcomes related to midwifery staffing levels for preconception, antenatal or postnatal care.

  • There is a lack of evidence on the use of decision support approaches, frameworks, methods or toolkits for identifying midwife staffing requirements and skill mix at a local level.

  • There is very limited economic evidence about safe midwifery staffing in maternity settings.

  • There is a lack of evidence about staffing ratios for midwives working in maternity settings.