Independent Maternity Working Group gives cautious welcome to three-year delivery plan for maternity and neonatal services
The Independent Maternity Working Group (IMWG), set up in response to one of the ‘immediate and essential actions’ set out by Donna Ockenden in her independent report last year, welcomes the publication of NHS England’s three-year delivery plan for maternity and neonatal services, published on 30 March. The plan has four key areas of focus for maternity and neonatal services to make improvements in the care of women and all those who access maternity care and support for the workforce.
However, the IMWG remains concerned at the absence of a commitment to invest in maternity and neonatal services. Services are already over-stretched and will struggle with the implementation plans without the funding for both the improvements in care and the long-term workforce plan. The need for significant investment has been recognised by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in his previous role as chair of the Commons Health & Social Care Select Committee.
In its role of advising and guiding those who have responsibility for implementing recommendations and actions from the recent independent reviews into maternity services, the IMWG will continue to use its collective voice to call on the Government for funding. It is essential this is made available to enable the improvements to be made for the delivery of safe compassionate care for women and all those that access maternity and neonatal care from committed maternity and neonatal staff.