Government Response to the Quality of Maternity Services

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We’re continuing to look at the government’s response to the report put together by the Health and Social Care Committee (HSCC) in July this year. The final section of the report sets out recommendations under the heading Providing Safe and Personalised Care for all Mothers and Babies. This includes the Continuity of Care model, targeting disparity in maternal care, choices at birth and measuring of Caesarean Section rates.

We’ll talk through the recommendations laid out in this section as well as the government’s response and our opinion on them.

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Final Recommendations and Our Opinions On the Government's Response

Recommendation 12 - Ensuring anyone delivering Continuity of Care gets the right training and are competent, (particularly in relation to ethnic minorities where there are the biggest gaps)

We’re pleased the government has accepted this recommendation and that NHS England and NHS England Improvement (NHSEI) recognises that professionals working in maternity care should be competent.

Local maternity services will complete a Training Needs Analysis updating midwives’ clinical skills. This allows midwives to care for mothers-to-be through their whole pregnancy and deliver the Continuity of Care model equally across diverse ethnicities and deprived communities.

Health Education England (HEE) are working with NHSEI to offer a Continuity of Care training package for 2021/22 that supports midwives and wider staff (including obstetricians, midwife leaders and managers).

Better training should lead to fewer mistakes which will have a positive impact on women and their babies.

Our Final Thoughts

Although there’s a long way to go, there are some positive signals that change is coming. We will be monitoring the situation closely and look forward to hearing more around the implementation and timings of when this will all take place.

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