• Project led by University Hospital North Staffordshire NHS Trust.
  • Focused on the trust's maternity service.
  • Aimed to reduce morbidity associated with childbirth-related perineal trauma and improve women's experience of maternity care.
  • Developed a cost-effective e-learning package to enhance practitioners' knowledge and skills in perineal assessment, repair and management.

The University Hospital North Staffordshire NHS Trust project team developed MaternityPEARLS - a cost effective, web-based distance learning package to support practitioners carrying out medical procedures to help women who have sustained a perineal injury during childbirth. The aim was to reduce morbidity associated with childbirth-related perineal trauma and improve women’s experience of maternity care.

The training package built on the PEARLS national clinical quality improvement initiative, which focused on improving implementation of evidence-based guidelines for the management of childbirth related perineal trauma. The team used the PEARLS DVD material to create the e-learning material and rolled it out across the trust's maternity units. Each clinician had a unique username, which enabled the team to monitor progress and generate audit data on staff training. Users could access the training package at any time and as often as they wanted to.


  • The MaternityPEARLS package ensured that training in perineal assessment, repair and management was consistent, up to date and of high quality, while allowing for variation in the needs of different learners.
  • Staff were able to complete the training at a time and place that suited them, without needing to book onto a scheduled training session.
  • Assessments conducted in three maternity units showed that the training package significantly improved clinical skills in the assessment and repair of perineal trauma, while also delivering cost savings.
  • The e-learning tool was adopted by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and is accessible via the Royal College of Midwives.


Further reading

New online tool to improve perineal repair

A joint project by the Universities of Birmingham and Staffordshire, funded by our Shine programme, has developed a new online training package to assist midwives and obstetricians carry out medica...

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