Please cite this paper as: Crofts J, Winter C, Sowter M. Practical simulation training for maternity care—where we are and where next. BJOG 2011; 118 (Suppl. 3): 11–16.
Improving maternal and perinatal care is a global priority. Practical simulation training for maternity care might prevent many of these deaths. There have been numerous evaluation studies published on the effectiveness of simulation training for obstetric emergencies, with increasing evidence that it is associated with improvement in clinical outcomes. Evidence has begun to move from subjective assessment of participants’ experiences towards objective assessment of clinical outcomes. However, the results are not entirely consistent and, at present, all of the evidence associating training with improvements in clinical outcomes relates to neonatal outcomes. This review summarises recent progress in the evaluation of the effectiveness of simulation training for maternity care in both high- and low-resource settings, and presents a vision for ensuring that practical simulation training for maternity care can become an effective tool to reduce global maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality.