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Maternity Services

Question for Department of Health

UIN 32013, tabled on 21 March 2016

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what plans he has to ensure that NHS maternity units improve their safety records.

Answered on

24 March 2016

In November 2015 the Government announced a national ambition to halve by 2030 the rates of stillbirths, neonatal and maternal deaths and brain injuries occurring during or soon after birth.

To support the National Health Service in achieving this ambition more than 90 trusts have received additional funding as part of a £2.24 million fund to spend on equipment to improve safety, over £1 million to roll out training programmes to make sure staff have the skills and confidence they need to deliver world-leading safe care, and £500,000 to develop, a new online system that can be used consistently across the NHS to enable staff to review and learn from every stillbirth and neonatal death.

The announcement also committed to publishing an annual report to update the public, health professionals, providers and commissioners on the progress we are making towards achieving the ambition. We also welcome the publication of the NHS England Independent Review of Maternity Services. The recommendations will have an important role in shaping the system to drive ambitious improvements in quality and safety.

On 7 March we launched Sign up to Safety - ‘Spotlight on Maternity,’ a guidance document that asks all trusts with maternity services to commit publically to placing a spotlight on maternity and to contributing towards achieving the Government’s national ambition.