Better Births Four Years On: A review of progress

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Since the publication of Better Births in 2016 and of the Report of the Morecambe Bay Investigation in 2015,  the NHS and its partners have come together through the national Maternity Transformation Programme to implement its vision for safer and more personalised care across England and deliver the national ambition to halve the rates of stillbirths, neonatal mortality, maternal mortality and brain injury by 2025.  As we reach the fourth anniversary, this is an opportune time to take stock of progress, to reflect on successes and remaining challenges, and consider where further action is needed.


The data shows that good progress is being made over time in reducing perinatal and maternal mortality, despite an overall increase in the complexity of care.  However, the picture is complex and in some areas it lacks clarity, partly as a result of data quality, and partly as a result of the time lag in the data.

Going forward, the programme will continue to work in partnership with national organisations and local systems to harness the collective drive and will to change and improve maternity care for women and families.  Local Maternity Systems will continue to be the agents for change, and national support will focus on helping them to deliver evidence-based improvements to care rapidly and consistently.