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

May’s Stakeholder Council meeting included two areas of work which will ensure that maternity services will be personal and safe for all women, no matter what their background and pre-existing medical conditions.

Networked maternal medicine

Charlie Podschies from the Maternity Transformation Programme delivered an update on plans which will further ensure women with acute and chronic medical problems have timely access to specialist advice and care at all stages of pregnancy. These will be called Networked Maternal Medicine Services (NMMS) and will:

  • Provide advice and care for women with pre-existing medical conditions before, during and after pregnancy, and in the antenatal, intrapartum and postpartum period for women with medical conditions that arise during pregnancy; and
  • Provide local clinical leadership on the identification, referral and management of women with medical conditions, including reviewing internal training and referral pathways for all staff in contact with pregnant women across the network footprint.

The proposals were well received by the council. Member urged Charlie to include local neonatal services in this work and looked forward to receiving an update at a later meeting.

Health inequalities

Victoria Morgan and Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent presented this item to the Stakeholder Council. Victoria introduced this item to members, providing an overview on the Health Inequalities work ongoing in the LTP:

  • Inequalities in maternal and perinatal mortality rates and what we know about the causes of those inequalities
  • A public health approach to reduce inequalities
  • Action underway to reduce health inequalities in maternity services
  • Focus on one of the Long-term plan interventions which aims to reduce health inequalities in maternity services.

The council welcomed these proposals and were enthusiastic to ensure the scope of this work covered some of the fundamental drivers behind these inequalities. Victoria stated that the team would report back to the council later in the year with an update.

NHS Long Term Plan update

Lauren Hughes, Director, Clinical Policy and Operations for NHS England presented on the maternity section of the NHS Long Term Plan.

The Long-Term Plan was published on 7 January 2019, and sets out how we will continually move forward so that in 10 years’ time we have a service fit for the future.  Chapter 3: Further progress on care quality and outcomes – A strong start in life for children and Young People is the part of the plan where most of maternity can be found.

In looking to improve childhood maternal health, we have taken a lifecourse approach. We know that health is a product of risk behaviours, protective factors and environmental agents that we encounter throughout our entire lives and that these have a cumulative effect on specific outcomes. This approach will support women to have the best possible pregnancy, birth experience and outcomes; ensure more babies survive and thrive through infancy; support children to have the best developmental opportunities and health outcomes and ensure that they grow into resilient, healthy and ‘health aware’ young adults. Lauren then went through the 6 stages of the life- course approach;

  • Preconception
  • Pregnancy & Birth
  • Neonatal Care
  • Early years intervention
  • Children & young people with illness
  • Transition into adulthood

There are two aims for maternity in the Long Term Plan; continuing to implement Better Births and addressing the gaps. Lauren informed the Council that as part of the continuing to implement Better Births there are the following areas of work; Saving Babies’ Lives Care Bundle v2, Neonatal Critical Care Review, Continuity of Carer, Perinatal Mental Health and Maternity Digital Records. The following pieces of work address the gap; Maternal smoking, Postnatal physiotherapy, Folic acid, Infant feeding and Networked Maternal Medicine.


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
  • Ayala Ochert – Co-Chair, Better Breastfeeding
  • 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
  • Hannah Lynes – National Maternity Voices
  • Jane Brewin – Chief Executive, Tommy’s
  • Jenny Kurinczuk – National Lead, MBRACE- UK. Professor of Perinatal Epidemiology and Director of the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit (NPEU)
  • Julie Bolus – Non-Executive Director, NAPC
  • Kate Brintworth – Head of Maternity Transformation, RCM
  • Keith Reed – CEO, Tamba, Twins and Multiple Births Association
  • 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
  • Maureen Treadwell – Research Officer, Birth Trauma Association
  • 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 Medicine, Urogynaecology, Devon and Exeter Hospital
  • Professor Neil Marlow – Professor of Neonatal Medicine
  • Nicky Lyon – Service User Representative and Campaign for Safer Births
  • Rebecca Steinfeld – Senior Policy Officer, Maternity Action
  • Rohit Kotnis – RCGP
  • 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
  • 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: