This conference was a timely opportunity to discuss the next steps for improving maternity services in England - looking at patient safety, service delivery and policy priorities.
Taking place in the context of the NHS Long Term Plan, and a range of other policy initiatives and commitments, it was an opportunity to discuss implementation issues and the impact on services and NHS staff.
The agenda included discussion on the next steps for tackling inequalities in maternal and child health, looking at long-term funding, taking local approaches and personalising care.
Delegates assessed the development of the maternity workforce - including the expansion of multidisciplinary teams and priorities for improving recruitment.
There was also discussion on the interim NHS People Plan, which sets out future plans for strengthening the maternity workforce, including the image and perception of the nursing and midwifery professions.
Delegates assessed the widening of access to services and priorities for improving postnatal care - including postnatal physiotherapy and perinatal mental health services for both mothers and fathers or partners.
There was also discussion on improving maternity safety - looking at increasing transparency and improving prevention, as well as creating and supporting a learning culture.
Further sessions included discussion on the next steps for regulating maternity services in light of the CQC’s 2018 survey of maternity services.
The agenda also included 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 considered how to address barriers regarding data protection and workforce engagement.