NHS England has published guidance for maternity services on implementing continuity of carer recommendations, published in the Better Births report as part of the National Maternity Review.
The latest document ‘Implementing Better Births: Continuity of Carer’ outlines how services can identify ambition and trajectory for implementation across maternity units in England.
In response to the guidance, Chief Executive and General Secretary of the RCM, Gill Walton, said: “This is a very positive step for women and for our maternity services.
“Maternity services are, however, currently hard pressed and working hard to deliver the best possible service with often limited staffing and resources. Any change to the way that services are provided has to be realistic, stepwise and adequately resourced with the right number of midwives.
“Implementing continuity of carer across the maternity journey is a significant change in the ways of working for many midwives. Midwives are central to providing this service and they must be supported and engaged in any process of change, with appropriate education and preparation for changes in their roles.”
The guidance document looks at:
- the principles that underpin rollout of continuity of carer
- high level models available for Local Maternity Systems to choose from
- the details Local Maternity Systems will need to work out for themselves
- how to set local ambitions and trajectories
- the next steps in making it happen
Continuity of carer was recommended in the Better Births report following the National Maternity Review, with the main aim for all pregnant women to build a relationship with the same midwife throughout their pregnancy, birth and postnatally.
A shared vision and plan to implement Better Births is expected by the end of 2020/21.
The full guidance document ‘Implementing Better Births: Continuity of Carer’ can be found here.
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