Lord Birt – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Department of Health

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Lord Birt on 2016-04-25.

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to match national and local capacity with demand for maternity services, and when they expect a balance to be achieved.

Lord Prior of Brampton

Maternity services are included in the key objectives set out in the Mandate between the Government and the NHS England. The Mandate states that women should receive better care during pregnancy and have a named midwife responsible for ensuring personalised, one-to-one care.

In its report Better Births: Improving Outcomes of maternity services in England, the National Maternity Review (which was sponsored by NHS England) set out a vision for future models of maternity services which provide safe, personalised, kind, professional and family friendly care. It recommends that providers and commissioners should come together as “local maternity systems” and develop a local vision for improved maternity services based on the principles contained within the report. A copy of Better Births is attached.

Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) will now be expected to consider the conclusions of Better Births and what changes they may need to make to local services in light of those conclusions. CCGs are expected to understand local demand for maternity services, including listening to what women in their communities want, and consider their health needs in designing services. This should also be reflected in the development of five year Sustainability and Transformation Plans which cover wider geographical ‘footprints’.