The NHS has announced a £127 million funding boost for maternity services across the country, with the intention of ensuring safer and more personalised pre- and postnatal care for women and their babies
At NHS England’s most recent board meeting, it was announced that £127 million would be added to maternity services’ funding. This funding will be invested primarily in boosting the workforce and improving the culture in maternity units.
The new funding builds upon the £95 million of support for maternity services in England which was announced last year, intended to create 1300 new roles (1200 midwives and 100 obstetricians), as well as more training, leadership, and development programmes.
Of this new funding, over £50 million is expected to be provided to NHS trusts over the next 2 years to boost staffing numbers in neonatal and maternity services, with a further £34 million to go to local maternity systems for their culture and leadership development programmes.
The remaining £45 million is set to be invested in hospitals over the next 3 years in order to increase the total number of neonatal cots across the country.
In a press release, NHS England announced that the ‘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.’
Primary Care Minister Maria Caulfield also commented: ‘We want to level up maternity care across the country, ensuring women and their children receive the best possible support.
‘Alongside today’s funding, we’ve invested £5 million to reduce brain injuries at birth and I’ve launched a Maternity Disparities Taskforce to bring together a wide range of experts to deliver change so we can improve care for all women, no matter their background.’
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