Maternity and Children Quality Improvement Collaborative (MCQIC)

new born baby being cared for

The Maternity and Children Quality Improvement Collaborative (MCQIC) is part of the Scottish Patient Safety Programme (SPSP), co-ordinated by Healthcare Improvement Scotland, and encompasses the activity of the maternity, neonatal and paediatric care strands.

Launched in 2013, the overall aim of MCQIC is to improve outcomes and reduce inequalities in outcomes by providing a safe, high-quality care experience for all women, babies, children and families in Scotland.

There is an overarching MCQIC Driver Diagram and the maternity, neonatal and paediatric strands each have their own driver diagrams and measurement plans that map out the theory of improvement for NHS boards to use across Scotland.

Core measures

At the end of 2017 we carried out a mid-term review of the MCQIC programme. As a result, the content across the programme has been revised to reflect both the feedback and experience at board level and address the key priority areas identified for Scotland.

We have identified fewer key national priorities, known as core measures, for which MCQIC will support improvement activity across all boards. All remaining measures will be supplementary.

Core outcome measures

Maternity care

  • Stillbirth
  • Postpartum haemorrhage

Neonatal care

  • Term admissions to neonatal units (for all units)
  • Central line infection rates (NICUs only)
  • Necrotising enterocolitis (NICUs only)

Collaborative working for maternity and neonatal care

  • Neonatal mortality rate

Paediatric care

  • Rate of unplanned admissions
  • Central line infection rates (where applicable)
  • Ventilator-associated pneumonia (PICUs only)

 Benefits of this approach

  • A focus on the areas where there is greatest harm, aligning to national priorities and supported by the evidence.
  • A clear national steer to assist identifying local priorities.
  • Fewer national outcomes to reduce data burden.
  • More focused approach and emphasis on QI activity.
  • Facilitates boards to progress outcomes at local level.
  • Supports boards to achieve sustained improvement in the core measures before commencing QI activity on additional measures.

Partnership agreements

We are exploring ways to support boards to deliver the MCQIC programme and, as part of this approach, we are offering tailored partnership agreements with each NHS board. These will focus on the key improvement priorities and actions as agreed by both parties and allow a shared understanding of the capacity and support that is available at both local and national level.

Learn more about the collaborative's achievements here.


Maternity Care

Supporting clinical teams in Scotland

Neonatal Care

Supporting NHS boards to improve the quality and safety of neonatal healthcare

Paediatric Care

Supporting NHS boards to improve the quality and safety of paediatric healthcare

The following are recordings and PDFs of the PowerPoint presentations from the MCQIC WebEx series.


15 January 2018 - Understanding run charts by Lesley Macfarlane and Cheryl Clark, Associate Improvement Advisors at HIS.

SPSP Maternity & Children - End of phase report  (PDF) (Published by Healthcare Improvement Scotland, August 2016)

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 To contact a member of the MCQIC team, please click on the relevant name below.


Name Position
Joanne Matthews  Head of Scottish Patient Safety Programme 
Bernadette McCulloch  Improvement Advisor 
Cheryl Clark Associate Improvement Advisor
Clare Willocks Clinical Lead (Obstetrics)
Angela Cunningham Clinical Lead (Midwifery)
Lesley Macfarlane Associate Improvement Advisor
Colin Peters Clinical Lead (Neonatal)
Neil Spenceley Clinical Lead (Paediatric)
Catriona Vernal Senior Project Officer
Helen Mitchell Project Officer
Elaine Mackay Project Officer
Catherine O'Neill Administrative Officer
Kirsty Allan Administrative Officer