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Improving Maternity Safety – Continuity of Carer and the Midwifery Workforce

Statement made on 27 March 2018

Statement UIN HCWS588


I am today announcing steps towards ensuring that the majority of women will receive care from the same small team of midwives throughout their pregnancy, labour and birth by 2021, starting with 20% of women benefitting from a ‘continuity of carer’ model by March 2019.

Women who have continuity of carer are 19% less likely to miscarry, 16% less likely to lose their baby and 24% less likely to have a premature baby.

To support this, the Department of Health and Social Care is planning the largest ever increase in NHS midwives and maternity support staff, 650 new training places for midwives in 2019 – a 25% increase. We will continue to work with universities and the NHS to create even more training places in subsequent years to fill the gap of 3,000 midwives.

Other key parts of the announcement include:

  • Professionalising the Maternity Support Worker role by developing a nationally defined role and national competency frameworks for Maternity Support Workers together with a voluntary accreditation register.
  • Working with our key partners including the Royal College of Midwives, to identify better and clearer pathways for staff to progress and to develop new training routes to become a registered midwife.

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This statement has also been made in the House of Lords

Department of Health and Social Care
Improving Maternity Safety – Continuity of Carer and the Midwifery Workforce
Lord O'Shaughnessy
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health
Conservative, Life peer
Statement made 27 March 2018