Emily Hopkinson (Second year trainee, Health VFM)

Emily HopkinsonOne of the value for money studies I have worked on has been looking at maternity care across England, assessing performance against the Department of Health’s policies and objectives.

I was on the team through the full life of the study and was involved in a wide range of tasks including analysing data, writing sections of the report, and attending ‘clearance’ meetings where the Department discussed our findings ahead of publication. One of my findings – that trusts spent £700 insuring each birth against negligence claims – made the front page headline of the Independent newspaper.

MPs at the Parliamentary Accounts Committee (PAC) discussed our work and made a number of recommendations to NHS England and the Department of Health. Our report got extensive press coverage and I was impressed that so many high profile people and organisations engaged with and commented on our work – from the Royal College of Midwives to the Women’s Institute.

This was a very data-heavy study, which was a bit of a change for someone with a background in history and marketing! However, I got a lot of training and support from the NAO and my immediate team, and really enjoyed getting to grips with the data and figuring out what it meant.