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Core Capabilities Framework for Perinatal Pelvic Healthcare

Introduction & Background

The NHS Long Term Plan committed that “all women will have access to multidisciplinary pelvic health clinics and pathways across England” by March 2024. Further, in July 2020, the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety (IMMDS) Review recommended that “Conservative measures must be offered to women before surgery. We have heard that specialist pelvic floor physiotherapy cannot match the current demand. The service commissioner should identify gaps in the workforce; a co-ordinated strategy can then be developed to remedy the gap.”

NHS England and NHS Improvement has therefore committed to the phased implementation of Perinatal Pelvic Health Services, which will lead local improvements to perinatal care of ‘mild to moderate’ pelvic floor dysfunction around birth. The overarching responsibilities of these services will be to:

  1. Embed evidence-based practice in antenatal, intrapartum and postnatal care to prevent and mitigate pelvic floor dysfunction resulting from pregnancy and childbirth.
  2. Improve the rate of identification of pelvic floor issues antenatally and postnatally.
  3. Ensure timely access to NICE-recommended treatment for common pelvic health issues antenatally and postnatally.

NHS England and Improvement commissioned Skills for Health to develop a Core Capabilities Framework to drive up standards and ensure consistency of outcome for individuals and for the population overall.

Purpose & Scope

NHS England and Improvement have commissioned Skills for Health to develop a Core Capabilities Framework to drive up standards and ensure consistency of outcome for patients and for the population overall.

The Core Capabilities Framework for the multi-professional perinatal pelvic healthcare team will aim to identify and describe the knowledge, skills and behaviours which the healthcare workforce needs to apply in order to deliver high quality, compassionate, personalised perinatal pelvic health care.  It will provide a single, consistent, comprehensive, and explicit framework on which to base review and development of all relevant staff across clinical services.

Development of the Framework

The Framework’s development is led by a Steering Group chaired by Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent Chief Midwifery Officer for England. Membership of the Steering Group includes representatives of NHS England and NHS Improvement, Health Education England, The Royal College of Midwives, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Royal College of General Practitioners, Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, Institute of Health Visiting,  and service user representatives.

The first stage of the development process focused on desk research to review existing source documents and develop the framework structure.  The draft framework is now available for review as part of a wider consultation.

The framework went out for consultation during April 2022, feedback has been received and the steering group is now in the process of reviewing and updating the content.

The framework is due for publishing by summer of 2022.

Registration of interest

Register here to receive updates about the development of the framework and to be notified when the framework is published.

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