Antoinette Sandbach – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Department of Health

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Antoinette Sandbach on 2016-05-25.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if he will review the (a) commissioning framework and (b) tariff payment for bereavement care for families who have suffered a stillbirth or neonatal death.

Ben Gummer

A report in 2015 on Term, singleton, normally-formed, antepartum stillbirth from Mothers and Babies: Reducing Risk through Audits and Confidential Enquiries across the UK found that 60% of parents currently receive a good standard of bereavement care but this is not the case for everyone and we are continuing to consider the actions that should be taken to improve bereavement care across England.

NHS England has established a Maternity Transformation Programme Board, this will bring key partners together to oversee the implementation of a broad range of policies to deliver significant improvements to maternity care in England, including implementation of the recommendations of Better Births, Improving outcomes of maternity services in England (2016). The Transformation Programme includes work on supporting local transformation of maternity services, promoting best practice for safer care, increasing choice and reforming the payment system.

In Delivering the Forward View: NHS planning guidance 2016/17-2020/21 localities have been asked to produce “Sustainability and Transformation Plans” to show how local services should transform and ensure they are sustainable over the next five years. As part of this, local health economies have been asked to plan how they will transform their maternity services in line with the vision outlined in Better Births, Improving outcomes of maternity services in England. NHS England will be reviewing how well commissioners are planning for delivery of this vision in signing-off plans; and how well those plans are being put into action and on an ongoing basis through its Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) Assessment Framework, and annual Ofsted-style rating of each CCG on its commissioning of maternity services.