Westminster Health Forum

Next steps for improving maternity services in England - personalisation, workforce and inequalities

Morning, Wednesday, 10th July 2019

Central London


This seminar will be a timely opportunity to discuss the next steps for improving maternity services in England - looking at personalisation of care, developing the workforce and reducing inequalities.

Taking place in the context of the NHS Long Term Plan, and a range of other policy initiatives and commitments, it will be an opportunity to discuss implementation issues and the impact on services and NHS staff.

Delegates will assess the priorities for moving forward with the NHS Long Term Plan for maternity services, including reducing inequalities in maternal health and widening access to services - such as specialist pre-term birth clinics, postnatal physiotherapy and perinatal mental health services for both mothers and fathers or partners.

Sessions will discuss how these plans will be implemented, including the allocation of funding and how to support collaborative working to achieve system-wide transformation.

We expect discussion on improving maternity safety - looking at increasing transparency and improving prevention, as well as creating and supporting a learning culture.

It comes as NHS England aims to halve the rate of stillbirths, maternity mortalities, neonatal mortalities and serious brain injury by 2025 and every trust in England with a maternity and neonatal service is set to join NHS Improvement’s National Maternal and Neonatal Health and Safety Collaborative this year.

Delegates will discuss how the development of the maternity workforce can support the achievement of these aims and help to deliver improvements in maternity safety - including next steps for education, training and regulation, as well as for the expansion of multidisciplinary teams.

Following NHS England’s commitment to ensure that most women receive continuity of carer during pregnancy, birth and postnatally, sessions will look at the key opportunities for personalising maternity care and addressing challenges - such as long-term funding, increasing recruitment and the reorganisation of resources.

The agenda also includes discussion on the progress of the digitisation of maternity records, as the Government pilots the digitisation of records for 100,000 women by the end of 2019. Delegates will consider how to address barriers regarding data protection and workforce engagement.

Further sessions include discussion on the next steps for regulating maternity services.

It follows the CQC’s 2018 survey of maternity services, which found that while experiences of maternity services were generally positive, improvements in postnatal care had not been made between 2017 and 2018 - including the provision of information on possible emotional changes and physical recovery after birth, home visits from a midwife after birth, and staff awareness of the mother and baby’s medical history.

Keynote Speakers

Claire Mathews

Deputy Head of Maternity Services, NHS England

Dr Nigel Acheson

Deputy Chief Inspector of Hospitals, CQC

Keynote Speakers

Claire Mathews

Deputy Head of Maternity Services, NHS England

Martin Dennys

Programme Director, Digital Maternity Programme, NHS Digital

Dr Clea Harmer

Chief Executive, Sands

Dr Nigel Acheson

Deputy Chief Inspector of Hospitals, CQC

Ailsa Swarbrick

Director, National Unit, Family Nurse Partnership


Baroness Cumberlege

Independent Chair, National Maternity Review, NHS England


Rachel Canter

Chief Executive Officer, National Maternity Support Foundation

Elizabeth Duff

Senior Policy Adviser, NCT

Helen Ford

Lead Commissioner, Children and Maternity, NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group