What does the NHS Long term plan say about maternity care?
The NHS Long term plan sets out how the NHS plans to provide care over the next 10 years addressing the changing nature of healthcare and the challenges being faced. Within the plan are provisions for maternity care. The plan outlines a number of goals including:
Saving babies live care bundle
The saving babies lives care bundle will be rolled out across all maternity units in England in 2019. The bundle has shown a 20% reduction in stillbirths across those units where it is already in place. There are also plans to expand the bundle to focus on prevention of pre-term birth.
Local maternity systems
All units will be part of local maternity systems which include a named maternity safety champion bringing together all aspects of maternity care.
Clinical negligence scheme
The clinical negligence scheme will continue to financially reward those units that deliver on 10 key safety actions.
Continuity of care
Work will continue on providing continuity of care with teams being set up across the country with a particular focus on care for BAME communities. Evidence suggests that for these community’s midwifery led continuity of care leads to improved clinical outcomes.
Learning from mistakes
The healthcare safety investigation branch will review all term stillbirths, early neonatal deaths and cases of severe brain injury in babies, as well as all maternal deaths reporting on lessons learned and how to avoid similar incidents.
Mental health services
There will be increased provision of mental health services both for mothers and fathers with care provided by specialist perinatal mental health services from preconception to 24 months after birth. Additionally, the types of therapies available will be expanded.
The plan also includes provision for neonatal care including better design of service to improve safety and effectiveness, development of the neonatal workforce and increased support for families.
The full plan and addition information can be found here. There is also a proposal for changes to legislation to help support the implementation of the long term plan that you can provide feedback on.