NICE has published NICEimpact maternity (pdf). This report reviews how NICE recommendations for evidence-based and cost-effective maternity care are being implemented in the healthcare system to improve outcomes. This report highlights some positive progress in the uptake of NICE recommendations for safe and personalised maternity care, however, in some areas there is still room for improvement.
NHS England has published Fifteen steps for maternity: quality from the perspective of people who use maternity services. This document is part of a suite of tool kits for ‘The Fifteen Steps Challenge’; this toolkit helps maternity services to explore the experience of service users. It has been co-created with maternity service users, including those from seldom heard and minority groups and organisations that represent them.
The Health and Social Care Secretary has announced that the majority of pregnant women will receive care from the same midwives throughout their pregnancy, labour and birth by 2021. The first step towards achieving this will see 20% of women benefiting from a ‘continuity of carer’ model by March 2019. To help achieve this, the NHS plans to train more than 3,000 extra midwives over 4 years. There will be 650 more midwives in training next year, and planned increases of 1,000 in the subsequent years.
Public Health England has produced Best start in life: return on investment tool. This tool aims to help local commissioners provide cost-effective interventions for children aged up to 5 years old and pregnant women. It pulls together evidence on the effectiveness and associated costs for a number of interventions aimed at providing children with the best start in life. It is accompanied by a report providing details on how the tool was constructed.
NHS Improvement has published A guide to support maternity safety champions. This guide is for maternity safety champions at the frontline, trust board and regional levels. It outlines broad role descriptions and responsibilities, suggests activities to promote best practice and signposts existing safety initiatives and improvements.
NHS England has announced that applications are now open to STPs for the second wave of the Perinatal Mental Health community services development fund. The purpose of the fund is to develop specialist perinatal mental health community services, and increase the availability of high quality interventions and support for women, their babies and families.
A total of £23 million is available through the wave two fund this year and from 2019/20 funding for specialist perinatal mental health community services will be allocated through clinical commissioning group baseline (CCG) budgets.
The Care Quality Commission has published the results from the Maternity services survey 2017. The results show that women are reporting a more positive experience of maternity care and treatment and highlights improvements in areas such as choice of where to give birth, quality of information and access to help and support after giving birth, when compared to the results from previous years’ surveys.
Compared with the last survey in 2015 a greater proportion of women said that they:
were offered the choice of giving birth in a midwife-led unit or birth centre
saw the same midwife at every antenatal appointment
were ‘always’ treated with dignity and respect during labour and birth
were never left alone during the birth of their baby at a time when it worried them
could ‘always’ get help from a member of staff within a reasonable time while in hospital after the birth