National maternity review calls for more personalised care

Pregnant women are to receive notional personal budgets to improve their choice of care in a shake-up of maternity care report released today. The National Maternity Review made the recommendations as part of its report aimed at improving safety in maternity services. The review sets out a vision for more personalised care, centred on the woman, her baby and her family. It also calls for better data collection, speedier referral when there are problems, and a nationally-agreed way of investigating care that goes wrong.

Rainbow Trust welcomes any efforts which will improve safety and reduce the wide variation in care received by pregnant women and new mothers across England. Incidents in about one in 17 births in England result in some level of harm to either the baby or the mother. At times this can lead to devastating consequences for the baby and its parents at what ought to be a time of joy.

The report makes many useful recommendations aimed at delivering safer and more personalised care. However we remain deeply concerned that many neonatal services are overstretched and we call on the government to ensure sufficient staff are recruited to deliver on today’s recommendations.

Rainbow Trust has an evolving service offering emotional and practical support to families who have a baby receiving care in a neonatal unit. Our specialist neonatal support workers have an understanding of the pressures that families face at this time and we support any intervention that will reduce the stress and uncertainty that the families face.