Released on: 17 October 2016

In response to the Government’s Maternity Safety Action Plan, announced today, Elizabeth Duff, Senior Policy Adviser, NCT, said:

“Maternity services in England have been over-stretched for far too long, putting the safety of pregnant women, new mothers and their babies in jeopardy.  The new measures set out today could transform support for expectant parents.  Many of the elements in this plan reflect the needs set out in the 'Better Births' report, which was based on a clinical evidence review as well as country-wide feedback from both staff and service users.

“We are particularly pleased to see steps to improve the care for parents who have suffered the loss of a baby.  It is essential that any stillbirth review ensures parents are given a clear explanation of events and easy access to redress.

“The Government has missed a trick by leaving out steps to improve postnatal care. Around 80% of maternal deaths take place postnatally yet less than 10% of the budget is spent on this period.  'Better Births' described postnatal care with justification  as ‘historically under-funded’.  Postnatal care cannot continue to be the poor cousin of maternity services and action must be taken to tackle safety during this time.”

“We would also urge more emphasis on the importance of continuity of carer which is known to reduce preterm births and neonatal mortality.”

 

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