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Confidential Enquiry into Maternal and Child Health

Improving the health of mothers, babies and children

Overview Maternal and Perinatal Health
Maternal & Perinatal Mortality Surveillance
Saving Mothers' Lives
Obesity in Pregnancy
Neonatal Encephalopathy
Diabetes in Pregnancy
Access to Antenatal Care
CEMACH/UCL Diabetes Project
Local clinical audits

Child Health
Child Death Review
Head Injury Study

Access to Antenatal Care


CEMACH considered this important area of maternity care as a potential topic for a national confidential enquiry. To assist in deciding whether this would be a beneficial area for enquiry, CEMACH commissioned a literature review of barriers to access to antenatal care and the phenomenon of late attendance and non-attendance for care, for women in developed countries.

The review identified that there was a lack of existing documented standards for improving access to antenatal care and an insufficient evidence base for the development of consensus based standards. The review recommended further research into effective interventions for the improvement of access to antenatal care by groups experiencing barriers to care. The conclusion was that until there was a greater evidence base on effective interventions to overcome barriers to antenatal care, there was a considerable risk that a study using the national confidential enquiry approach would yield superficial results. It has therefore been decided to defer further consideration of access to antenatal care as an enquiry topic. We are nonetheless making the literature review available for the contribution it makes in this important area.   

Publications Information

Please click here to access the Literature Review

Data Collection Forms and other useful documents

Access to Antenatal Care Literature Review - February 2007