Stakeholder Council

The Stakeholder Council is a representative group that enables stakeholders to influence and contribute to the Maternity Transformation Programme by scrutinizing its work and providing advice and constructive challenge to the Maternity Transformation Programme Board.

Organisations represented on the Council include charities, professional bodies, academics, as well as NHS clinical and managerial practice. This is vital to ensure that we can succeed in realizing the vision outlined in Better Births to improve care for women, babies and their families.

Latest update

The latest stakeholder council meeting was held in London on 5 July. Baroness Cumberlege introduced the question that she had raised in a letter that had been circulated ahead of the meeting regarding the ‘Long term plan’ for the NHS. Baroness Cumberlege had asked members of the Council to think about what NHS England should focus on as the plan develops. Members were asked to share their top one or two points.

Ideas ranged from ensuring more women getting one to one midwifery care to investing in technology and data to improve the care we give to women and their families. There was a lot of focus on perinatal mental health and post-natal care. This will all feed into the long term plan for maternity and will lead to the NHS being able to offer overarching maternity care from conception to the early years of a child’s life.

Early Notification Scheme and RRR

Helen Vernon, Chief Executive of NHS resolution, and Madeleine Duke from DHSC updated the council on the Early Notification Scheme and RRR. The aim of this programme is to speed up the investigation into serious incidents. The aims of the early notification scheme are:

  • Identify learning and share at a national, regional and local level;
  • Improve the experience for both the families and staff affected; and
  • Accelerated liability investigation allowing contemporaneous collation of evidence and early admissions of liability.

The principal aims of RRR are as follows:

  • Reducing the number of severe avoidable birth injuries by encouraging a learning culture;
  • Improving the experience of families and clinicians when harm has occurred;
  • Making more effective use of NHS resources.

Data and information available to women

David Robertson from the Maternity Transformation Programme Team presented a paper around maternity data, including:

  • National Maternity Data Viewer
  • National Maternity Perinatal Audit
  • NHS Choices (rebranded as

David then highlighted some of the ways in which improved data and information sharing will help women and families in the following ways;

  • Strategic opportunity to engage with a young, digitally literate demographic to demonstrate NHS digitisation
  • The data viewer will present data at LMS and trust level using graphics that are easy to understand
  • Important on how my trust/LMS is performing will be updated on a monthly basis (n.b. via the MSDS)
  • Will be able to compare trusts within the woman’s LMS using Clinical Quality Improvement Metrics (CQIM) to help them choose where to receive care during their pregnancy

Better Births Two Years on: Personal and Safe event; took place on 27 March at the Midland Hotel in Manchester. It was attended by 400 maternity leaders from across the country. It was a vibrant and interactive day, with workshops, a market place, and ‘pop up talks’, and interactive mainstage discussions in the afternoon. Initial feedback and snap-polls of over 200 attendees who responded on the day are positive. Baroness Cumberlege also noted the difference in atmosphere in comparison to last year, much more enthusiasm for Better Births. There was a comment from members that there were a lot of midwives in attendance, there weren’t high numbers of obstetricians. Matt Tagney responded by informing members that we nearly have an agreed date for the next event and therefore will be able to send out invitations earlier which will hopefully mean more obstetricians will be able to be there.

Secretary of State maternity workforce announcement at the Two Years on Event:

  • Increase the number of women receiving continuity of the person caring for them during pregnancy, birth and postnatal so that by March 2019, 20% of women booking receive continuity, and the majority of women by 2021.
  • Plan to train more than 3000 extra midwives over 4 years, starting with 650 more midwives in training next year, and planned increases of 1000 in the subsequent years as capacity increases.
  • A new more defined maternity support worker role and consideration new training routes into midwifery.

The Healthcare safety Investigation Branch (HSIB) has confirmed investigations are starting from 3rd April 2018. Team 1 will start on that date in south East, with a further 15 teams joining through the course of 18/19.


Ahead of the Council meeting Baroness Cumberlege sent a letter to members asking them to go out to their colleagues and stakeholders, with the four questions that were posed in December:

  1. How would you define the current culture in maternity services, and how is this different to other clinical services?
  2. What would be the characteristics of the culture you would wish to experience?
  3. How would you seek to change it?
  4. How would you know when you had succeeded?

Council members fed back on how they thought these questions would be answered from their own organisations. Feedback from the council will inform an update paper as to the next steps of how we ask the frontline maternity service staff these questions.

Personal Maternity Care Budgets (PCMBs)

Tim Straughan presented a paper to the Council which provided an update on the Maternity Choice and Personalisation Pioneers. There was an on the work that has been done in the 7 pioneer areas, which cover 36 CCGs across the four regions. At the end of March 2018 the number of PMCBs was 19,421 which surpassed the target for the end of March of 10,000.


The Council is chaired by Baroness Julia Cumberlege, Chair of the National Maternity Review. It meets every two months, mid-way between each Maternity Transformation Programme Board meeting. The Council includes the following organisations:

  • Baroness Julia Cumberlege – Chair
  • Sir Cyril Chantler – Vice-Chair
  • Alain Gregoire – Consultant and Honorary Senior Lecturer in Perinatal Psychiatry. Chair, Maternal Mental Health Alliance UK, and Global Alliance for Maternal Mental Health
  • Alan Fenton – Consultant Neonatal Paediatrician and President of the British Association of Perinatal Medicine
  • Alexandra Birch – Senior Commissioning manager for Maternity and Children’s Services. Cannock Chase CCG, South East Staffordshire and Seisdon Peninsula CCG. Stafford and Surrounds CCG (Also covering East Staffordshire CCG)
  • Alison Baum – CEO, Best Beginnings
  • Alison Wright – Vice President for UK and Global Membership, RCOG
  • Amanda Mansfield – South Central Ambulance Service
  • Annie Francis – CEO, Neighbourhood Midwives Ltd
  • Bill Kirkup – Chair, Morecombe Bay Inquiry
  • Caroline Lee Davey – Chief Executive, BLISS
  • Clea Harmer – Chief Executives, SANDS (Stillbirth & Neonatal death Charity)
  • Debbie Chippington-Derrick – Association for Improvements in the Maternity services
  • Dianne Massey – Institute of Health Visiting
  • Elizabeth Duff – Senior Policy Advisor, National Childbirth Trust (NCT)
  • Felicity Plaat – Chairman, Obstetric Anaesthetists Association
  • Gabrielle Bourke – RCM Regional Officer
  • Jane Brewin – Chief Executive, Tommy’s
  • Jenny Kurinczuk – National Lead, MBRACE- UK. Professor of Perinatal Epedimiology and Director of the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit (NPEU)
  • Keith Reed – CEO, Tamba, Twins and Multiple Births Association
  • Laura James – National Maternity Voices
  • Maria Booker – Programme Manager, Birthrights
  • Mary Newburn – Consultant, Health Researcher, Public & Parent Involvement (PPI). Lead for Maternity theme service user representation working with Midwives, Kings College London
  • Melanie Pickup – CEO, Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS FT
  • Mike Lane- Clinical Lead & Board Member, Wandsworth CCG. London Maternity Lead, RCGP
  • Myles Taylor – Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Fetal edicine, Urogynaecology, Devon and Exeter Hospital
  • Nicky Lyon – Service User Representative
  • Ruth Bender Atik – National Director, The Miscarriage Association
  • Sarah Noble – Head of Maternity, South Warwickshire Foundation Trust
  • Soo Downe – Professor of Midwifery Studies, University of Central Lancashire
  • Tim Draycott – MD, BSc, MBBS, MRCOG, Consultant at Southmead Hospital and the University of Bristol. North Bristol NHS Trust
  • Tim Overton – President, British Maternal & Fetal Medicine Society London. Consultant in Fetal Medicine and Obstetrics, Clinical Director for Women’s Services, St Michael’s Hospital
  • Tracey Bignall – Senior Policy and Practice Officer, Race Equality Foundation

If anyone has any questions or wants any further information about the stakeholder council, please email: