Wide-ranging new maternity plans announced by the government
The measures will improve safety, quality and continuity of care to halve stillbirths, maternal and infant deaths and serious brain injuries in new-born babies by 2025.
At the heart of these plans is a major redesign of neonatal services, led by an expansion in staff numbers – with more expert neonatal nurses and specialists, and new roles for allied health professionals.
The measures also include:
- digitising the paper child health record known to parents as the ‘red book’
- piloting the digitisation of maternity records for 100,000 women by the end of 2019 to help women make choices about their care in a more convenient way
- improved accommodation for critically ill new-born babies and support from dedicated care co-ordinators from 2021 to 2022
- wider availability of physiotherapy for the 1 in 3 women who experience incontinence after childbirth
- asking all maternity services to deliver an accredited, evidence-based infant feeding programme in 2019 to 2020, such as the UNICEF Baby Friendly initiative
The plans are backed by the funding increase of £20.5 billion every year by 2023 to 2024 for the NHS in England.
Source: Department of Health & Social Care 30th December 2018
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