National maternity review

Overview of the Maternity Transformation Programme

The Maternity Transformation Programme seeks to achieve the vision set out in Better Births by bringing together a wide range of organisations to lead and deliver across 9 work streams.

Our vision for maternity services across England is for them to become safer, more personalised, kinder, professional and more family friendly; where every woman has access to information to enable her to make decisions about her care; and where she and her baby can access support that is centred around their individual needs and circumstances. And for all staff to be supported to deliver care which is woman centred, working in high performing teams, in organisations which are well led and in cultures which promote innovation, continuous learning, and break down organisational and professional boundaries.

The vision is underpinned by seven themes, which form the basis for the recommendations set out in the body of the report:

  • Personalised care, centred on the woman, her baby and her family, based around their needs and their decisions, where they have genuine choice, informed by unbiased information.
  • Continuity of carer, to ensure safe care based on a relationship of mutual trust and respect in line with the woman’s decisions.
  • Safer care, with professionals working together across boundaries to ensure rapid referral, and access to the right care in the right place; leadership for a safety culture within and across organisations; and investigation, honesty and learning when things go wrong.
  • Better postnatal and perinatal mental health care, to address the historic underfunding and provision in these two vital areas, which can have a significant impact on the life chances and wellbeing of the woman, baby and family.
  • Multi-professional working, breaking down barriers between midwives, obstetricians and other professionals to deliver safe and personalised care for women and their babies.
  • Working across boundaries to provide and commission maternity services to support personalisation, safety and choice, with access to specialist care where needed.
  • A payment system that fairly and adequately compensates providers for delivering high quality care to all women efficiently, while supporting commissioners to commission for personalisation, safety and choice.

The role of the clinical network

The West Midlands Maternity Clinical Network is focused on supporting the local delivery of the Maternity Transformation Programme which is based on the core Better Births recommendations. This is achieved locally through the six local maternity systems within the region, which are formal sub groups and workstreams of each STP.

The Maternity Clinical Network role within this is to enable the innovation and improvement of services aligned to the Maternity Transformation Programme.  We promote learning and change through the multi-agency partnership of the Maternity and Newborn Alliance, which gives a forum through which leaders, clinicians, managers and support staff and their partners beyond the NHS can explore ideas, share best practice and seek to achieve quality, consistency and sustainability. We remain a core critical friend to each Local Maternity System and have developed a comprehensive bespoke local support offer for LMSs to drive delivery.

Partnership working is key to this process and the Network works closely with North Midlands and West Midlands nursing teams, with the Directors of Nursing being locally responsible and accountable for assuring delivery of Better Births.  We are also part of the Midlands and East Regional Maternity Programme Board, contributing to and learning from developments from across the region.  As well as building and maintaining relationships with a wide range of stakeholders which include Neonatal Operational Delivery Networks and Specialised Commissioning.