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iHV welcomes National Maternity Review Report

23rd February 2016

The National Maternity Review Report, published today, sets out to improve maternity services across the country for women, their babies and families.

Dr Cheryll Adams, Executive Director of the iHV, said:

“We welcome the report and the improvements it will bring to maternity services.  We are particularly pleased at the attention given to  the need for closer working and improved training, communication and transitions between the team around the mother including with health visitors and for enhanced postnatal care. Where community midwives have been able to be based in children’s centres with health visitors, they find together these professionals can be very responsive to mothers’ needs so it is helpful to see this model being endorsed.”

The National Maternity Review report finds that despite the increases in the number of births and the increasing complexity of cases, the quality and outcomes of maternity services have improved significantly over the last decade.

  • The stillbirth and neonatal mortality rate in England fell by over 20% in the ten years from 2003 to 2013.
  • Maternal mortality in the UK has reduced from 14 deaths per 100,000 maternities in 2003/05 to 9 deaths per 100,000 maternities in 2011/13.
  • The conception rate for women aged under 18 in England, a key indicator of the life chances of our future generations, reduced by almost half, between 1998 and 2013.

However, the review also found meaningful differences across the country, and further opportunities to improve the safety of care and reduce still births.

Prevention and public health have an important role to play, as smoking is still the single biggest identifiable risk factor for poor birth outcomes. Obesity among women of reproductive age is increasingly linked to risk of complications during pregnancy and health problems of the child.

The framework highlights seven key priorities to drive improvement and ensure women and babies receive excellent care wherever they live.