What makes an excellent Delivery Suite Coordinator? Views of the Multidisciplinary Team, a constructivist grounded theory study

  • Debbie Bunford

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


There has been little research undertaken exploring the essential attributes
necessary to be a successful Delivery Suite Coordinator (DSC). This lack of
understanding about the role and its importance within the multi-disciplinary team (MDT) may have wide-ranging impacts for the safe functioning of the delivery suite. The research combined a thematic analysis, and logic modelling of 15 DSC job descriptions and a constructive grounded theory methodology of 21 semi-structured interviews with members of the MDT explored their experiences of working with different DSCs. Logic modelling of the DSC job descriptions found a consensus of the Trusts expectations. The role focus centring on the coordination of the delivery suite and leadership of the MDT. Findings from the MDT interviews revealed that effective DSCs maintained situational awareness (SA), ‘the helicopter view’, of the delivery suite to create Team Situational Awareness (TSA). Excellent DSCs were able to forward project the impact of the activity and plan accordingly. The DSC role was also found to be crucial in supporting staff with clinical decision making, which was influenced by the approachability of the DSC. DSCs who exhibited these attributes had a significant impact on MDT staffs’ job satisfaction and ability to carry out their
role to the best of their ability. Failure of the DSC to maintain SA may result in poor MDT decision making influencing maternal and neonatal outcomes.
The study concludes that changes are required to the support, succession planning and recruitment to the DSC role. The development of consultant midwife posts may facilitate career progression for the excellent clinical midwives and harness their coordinating skills for staff development. SA and human factor training should be incorporated as a core component of midwifery and medical education programmes and advanced level for those undertaking DSC roles. An addition suggests that for a DSC to work effectively, they should be supernumerary and not be caring for labouring women on a 1 to 1 basis.
Further research is required to understand the impact of the DSC on MDT working and understand what gives a DSC confidence. Dissemination of the findings from this study to educational and practice strategic groups is required to inform the current national debate on the safety of women and neonates.
Date of Award1 Oct 2022
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Teesside University
SupervisorLesley Collier (Supervisor) & Kevin Ions (Supervisor)

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