The Scottish Maternity Early Warning System (MEWS)

MEWS was launched in October 2018 and advocates a system to standardise the assessment and escalation of potential deterioration in pregnant and postnatal women.

To support local implementation of MEWS, Scottish Patient Safety Programme (SPSP) maternity care has produced resources available to download. Lanyard / pocket cards and poster for local implementation as well as the chart are on this page for download


There is no copyright restriction on the MEWS chart however anyone looking to reproduce the chart and lanyard cards:

  • The chart must not be modified/amended in any way.
  • MEWS charts must be reproduced in full colour.
  • Please use the high-resolution versions of the chart attached to this page

How MEWS works

MEWS is designed to account for the normal physiological changes of pregnancy. The intention of MEWS is to improve recognition of pregnant and postnatal women at risk of clinical deterioration and facilitate early
intervention. The tool is intended to guide clinical judgement and not replace it. MEWS uses a simple yellow and red color code as a trigger. All triggers should be added up and documented at the bottom of the MEWS each time observations are recorded. 

Physiological parameters

All antenatal and postnatal women who enter an acute hospital setting should have their core observations recorded on the Scottish national MEWS Chart. MEWS should not be used in the intrapartum period.  If the woman scores any yellow or red scores, the escalation guideline should be initiated.  Core observations are:

  • respiratory rate
  • oxygen saturations
  • temperature
  • maternal heart rate
  • systolic blood pressure
  • diastolic Blood pressure
  • neuro response
  • urine output and
  • looks unwell.