The Government has established The Maternity Transformation Programme which is working to implement the recommendations of the Better Lives Report – the aim is to improve antenatal services by giving parents more choice about where they give birth and importantly making pregnancy and birth safer for everyone. An important part of making changes in the NHS is to test them in a few areas, learn about how it works in practice, before rolling out to all of the NHS.
Seven areas have been selected to test how better care might be delivered in pregnancy and these are:
Birmingham and Solihull
Cheshire and Merseyside
North Central London
North West London
We’re delighted that one of the test areas is in Birmingham where Tommy’s newest centre focusing on early miscarriage is based.
So what’s going to be different?
- Using small teams of midwives to offer greater continuity of care to women – it is hoped that your midwife getting to know you better will improve the care you receive and help identify any potential problems much sooner.
- Creating single points of access to a wider range of maternity services – this will give your midwife easier access to a wide range of experts who can help you in your pregnancy.
- Making better use of electronic records to provide more joined up care – this will help the health professionals caring for you to understand more about your total health care needs not just your pregnancy health needs.
- Improving postnatal care – this should give parents greater support as they adjust to parenting a baby.
- Providing better personalised care planning – this should give parents greater choice about where they give birth whether that’s in an obstetric unit, a midwifery led unit or at home.
The changes are designed to help reduce stillbirth and neonatal death and there is evidence from other countries that continuity of care (seeing the same midwife) has reduced pre-term birth so we’ll keep you updated about progress with this exciting initiative.