Quality and safety

PMCBs will not compromise quality or safety:

  • The providers of the services for which women will be able to use their Personal Maternity Care Budgets will have to meet established standards both to secure contracts and offer services, and in the ongoing delivery of their services.
  • They will be subject to regulation by the CQC, through its registration and ongoing inspection regimes.
  • Providers will be integrated into and subject to clinical governance arrangements put in place by CCGs for their maternity networks to ensure all women continue to receive safe, high quality care, regardless of who provides it.
  • They will also be subject to CCG protocols for the referral of women and their safe transfer between providers within and between stages of the pathway, including arrangements that govern the sharing of clinical information, where necessary.
  • Women will only be able to choose providers that are clinically appropriate for their circumstances – for example, only providers that have an NHS Standard Contract with a CCG in England that allows them to provide care for women with complications, rather than only straightforward cases, if a woman is in the former category.
  • PMCBs will empower women to make informed decisions based on clear advice and information, including the pros and cons and risks associated with women’s individual circumstances, and the available options, so that they make choices that are safe for them.