Released on: 20 January 2017

Responding to the release today by Scottish Government of its Review of Maternity and Neonatal Services, ‘The Best Start – five-year forward plan for maternity and neonatal care’, Elizabeth Duff, NCT Senior Policy Adviser, said:

“NCT warmly welcomes this Review and its commendable vision for maternity and neonatal services in Scotland. We have campaigned vigorously for many of the key recommendations in this Review and we are happy to see the Scottish Government take a big step forward for Scottish maternity services and the babies and families that use them.

“This Review’s recommendation to give every woman a primary midwife, providing the majority of her care, is a momentous step toward the continuity of care that new mums want and need to achieve their choices around birth. The evidence supporting continuity of care is clear and the Scottish Government is to be congratulated on its position.

“It’s good to see the Review’s inclusion of fathers, partners and other family members as integral to maternity services. As a parenting charity, representing mums and dads we are pleased to see this report focus on whole families.

“All in all this Review has the potential to improve the lives of mums, dads and babies across Scotland for years to come.

“We now look forward to seeing how the Health Secretary, Shona Robison, builds on these recommendations, sets-up its implementation group and turns this vision into reality. It would have been good to see postnatal care as a higher priority to address its past neglect - around 80% of maternal deaths take place postnatally yet only a small proportion of the budget is spent on this period. Similarly, perinatal mental health is an issue for thousands of new parents in Scotland which is covered in only 2 of the Review’s 76 recommendations and we look forward to seeing more detail on this.” 

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