£127m maternity boost for patients and families  

Published on: 25/03/2022

NHS England has announced a £127 million funding boost for maternity services across England that will help ensure safer and more personalised care for expectant parents and their babies.

More than £50 million will be provided to Trusts across the country over the next two years to boost staffing numbers in maternity and neonatal services. Around £34 million will also be invested in local maternity systems, in culture and leadership development programmes and in supporting staff retention roles.

In addition, £45 million of capital funding will be available to hospitals over the next three years to increase the number neonatal cots across England, so that babies will receive the best quality care, in the most appropriate clinical setting.

Health chiefs have already set out how £8 million of this funding will be used to support the retention of midwives, support students and those with midwives with less experience.

Investment to bolster the maternity workforce in England will support delivery of the NHS Long Term Plan’s ambition of making England the safest place in the world to give birth, while also accelerating action to reduce stillbirth by half, maternal mortality, neonatal mortality and serious brain injury by 2025.

Professor Jaqueline Dunkley-Bent OBE, NHS England’s Chief Midwifery Officer, said: “Midwives have a rewarding, important and privileged role, and this new funding will be vital in providing them with a continuous improvement process that that supports them personally and professionally, to enhance the quality of care for women and babies. We want the NHS to be the safest place in the world to give birth and this funding will help us to do this”.

Speaking at the monthly board meeting, NHS Chief Executive, Amanda Pritchard, said: “This new multi-million pound funding will build on the significant steps we’ve taken in recent years to transform the care for pregnant women and their babies. We will not hesitate in taking further action to learn, improve and ensure that all women who use maternity services receive the best care possible”.

As part of the NHS Long Term Plan, 42 Local Maternity Systems across the country are bringing together local health organisations, clinicians and families to make sure maternity services meet the needs of their communities, and therefore deliver continued improvements in outcomes.

Heidi Eldridge, Chief Executive of MAMA Academy, said: “We welcome this funding boost for maternity services and call for prioritisation to be given for sufficient maternity staffing levels.  The UK should be one of safest places in the world to give birth and care should be consistent for every parent regardless of their ethnicity, income status or postcode. The Government must make this funding accessible immediately if they are to continue to work towards their ambition of halving the number of stillbirths by 2025.” 

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