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Maternity Services

Question for Department of Health

UIN 32850, tabled on 8 April 2016

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to the Answer of 21 March 2016 to Question 32013, what sanctions will apply to NHS maternity units which do not reduce their rates of stillbirth and neo-natal death.

Answered on

18 April 2016

The mandate to NHS England includes a goal and deliverable for measurable progress towards reducing the rate of stillbirths, neonatal and maternal deaths and brain injuries that are caused during or soon after birth by 50% by 2030 with a measurable reduction by 2020.

The mandate also has a deliverable for in 2016/17 to implement agreed recommendations of the National Maternity Review in relation to safety, and support progress on delivering Sign up to Safety. On 7 March we launched ‘Spotlight on Maternity’ as part of ‘Spotlight on Safety’ and asked all trusts with maternity services to commit publically to placing a spotlight on maternity and to contributing towards achieving the Government’s national ambition.

The Department holds NHS England to account for progress against the mandate, which will include progress against the deliverable and goal above. It would be for commissioners (NHS England or clinical commissioning groups) to design contracts to incentivise providers to reduce their rates of stillbirth and neonatal death, and NHS Improvement may look at these rates as part of regulating providers.