A new report finds large increase in midwife-led units co-located with obstetric units, increasing birthplace choice for pregnant women – but also describes variation in availability of staff, facilities and services.
Commissioned by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP) as part of the National Clinical Audit Programme, the National Maternity and Perinatal Audit (NMPA) is the largest evaluation of NHS maternity and neonatal services undertaken in Britain. It aims to help maternity services to identify good practice and areas for improvement in the care of women and babies.
Only 22% of trusts and boards offer the full range of birth settings (home birth, freestanding midwife-led units, alongside midwife-led units and obstetric units**). These low numbers may be due to geographical factors, such as remote or rural location. Where feasible, commissioners, trusts and boards should ensure that all women have access to all four birth settings either within their own maternity service, or in close collaboration with neighbouring services.
Read the press release here
Download the full report here