Centralisation of acute obstetric care in the Netherlands: a qualitative study to explore the experiences of stakeholders with adaptations in organisation of care

Lauri M M van den Berg, Bernardus Benjamin Maria Gordon, Sophia M Kleefstra, Lucie Martijn, Jeroen van Dillen, Corine J Verhoeven, Ank de Jonge

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Background: In the past decade, acute obstetric care (AOC) has become centralised in many high-income countries. In this qualitative study, we explored how stakeholders in maternity care perceived and experienced adaptations in the organisation of maternity care in areas in the Netherlands where AOC was centralised. Methods: A heterogenic group of fifteen maternity care stakeholders, including patients, were purposively selected for semi-structured interviews. An inductive thematic analysis was used. Results: Three main themes were identified: (1) lack of involvement. (2) the process of making adaptations in the organisation of maternity care. (3) maintaining quality of care. Stakeholders in this study were highly motivated to maintain a high quality of maternity care and therefore made adaptations at several organisational levels. However, they felt a lack of involvement during the planning of centralisation of AOC and highlighted the importance of a collaborative process when making adaptations after centralisation of AOC. Conclusions: Regions with AOC centralisation plans should invest time and money in change management, encourage early involvement of all maternity care stakeholders and acknowledge centralisation of AOC as a professional life event with associated emotions, including a feeling of unsafety.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1233
JournalBMC Health Services Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

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