NHS England has announced the winners for the latest round of the Maternity Challenge Fund. Three projects are each being awarded £50,000 to explore innovative ways to use women’s and their partners’ feedback to improve maternity services. The winning trusts are Gloucester Hospitals, Southport and Ormskirk Hospital, and Northumbria Healthcare.
The NHS Benchmarking Network was commissioned by NHS England to undertake a bespoke data collection on perinatal mental health services. The aim of this project was to inform the Perinatal Expert Reference Group of the current provision of perinatal mental health services in England, covering both inpatient Mother and Baby Units and Community Mother and Baby Teams. This is a high level national report presenting overall national findings.
This report published by the Foundation of Nursing Studies describes a project that aimed to set up weekly antenatal information and support group in a Children’s Centre to increase potential for secure attachments between mother and infant, increase confidence, encourage peer support and inform and empower mothers.
This Cochrane Special Collection of systematic reviews on Breastfeeding has been developed to bring the best available evidence on effective care to the attention of decision makers, health professionals, advocacy groups, and women and families, and to support the implementation of evidence-informed policy and practice. The collection focuses on reviews on support and care for breastfeeding women, including treatment of breastfeeding associated problems; health promotion and an enabling environment; and breastfeeding babies with additional needs.
Public Health England has updated and rebranded its leaflets on screening tests and pregnancy scans. Screening tests for you and your baby: gives information on the screening tests offered during pregnancy and after the baby is born, and is available in a variety of languages.
An Royal College of Midwives press release discusses a new report on the threats faced by maternity services.
The report ‘The gathering storm: England’s midwifery workforce challenges’ outlines how issues such as rising levels of complexity in pregnancy, midwife shortages and financial constraints in the NHS are ramping up the pressure on England’s maternity workforce and services.
The report also puts forward solutions to the problems in maternity services. It sets out ways in which decision makers across government and England’s NHS can tackle the situation. These include a more adaptable approach to requests for flexible working, and allowing the NHS Pay Review Body free reign to recommend staff pay wards. This will help retain midwives and not push them into costlier agency work. Implementing other changes will also help too, such as ensuring more low-risk women give birth outside of obstetric units.