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 8 November. Baroness Cumberlege updated the council that the Better Births three year on event would be held on 7 March in Manchester. The team are making sure that every effort is being made to ensure that as many obstetricians as possible attend the event.

Continuity of carer

November’s meeting focused on the importance of continuity of carer in maternity care. We know that women who receive care before, during and after they give birth from a midwife they know leads to better outcomes for the woman and her baby.

Professor Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent, Head of Maternity, Children and Young People at NHS England spoke about her visits throughout England throughout 2018. Jacquie reflected that the national midwifery team invited all (136) Heads/Directors of Midwifery in England to a meeting focused toward their individual needs to discuss the implementation of continuity of carer.

The team met with midwives, maternity support workers, obstetricians, maternity voice partnership members, neonatologists, paediatricians, finance leads, commissioners and many more to discuss how best to support the spread of continuity of carer.

Some of the issues raised included:

  • Defining continuity of carer – discussions regarding the definition included attendees expressing a preference for implementing ‘team continuity’ and not ‘caseload’. Frequently recurring ideas for early implementation of continuity of carer across the antenatal, intrapartum and postnatal pathways included prioritising:
    • Multiple pregnancies
    • Women with diabetes
    • High risk pregnancies
    • Elective caesarean sections
    • Teenage pregnancies
    • Socio-economically disadvantaged/vulnerable women
    • Women who have a history of bereavement
  • Monitoring continuity of carer – the Monitoring and Evaluation Framework has been developed and is available from the Royal College of Midwives.
  • Business panning – the majority of Heads/Directors of Midwifery who attended the meetings requested support in developing a business case for implementing continuity of carer.
  • Operational considerations – concerns regarding on call commitments were raised by some of the attendees. A range of suggestions and discussions culminated in action by maternity providers to for example:
    • engage with staff
    • understand the evidence
    • agree the model
    • work in partnership with HR and staff
    • discuss pay enhancements using the evidence from networks and LMSs
    • use evidence to determine caseload size
    • agree how to manage peaks in activity whilst ensuring occupational autonomy
    • where on calls are not a viable option, explore night duty as an alternative

These meetings have stimulated discussion, debate and the development/refresh of implementation plans and were welcomed by the council.

The national maternity team will discuss and agree the potential for:

  • Series of webinars with areas showcasing their work to date. Users can participate live or listen later.
  • Development of a repository of case studies and pragmatic solutions, and a frequently-updated Q&A on the Local Transformation Hub.
  • Twitter chats with Midwives
  • Exploration of resource for CoC team building/ team and manager preparation
  • Consideration of a schedule of national events in 2019


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: