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Final report due from Baroness Cumberlege on future of maternity care

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Findings from a national review of maternity services in England are expected to be published later this week.

Led by Baroness Julia Cumberlege, the review was set up nearly a year ago in the wake of the Morecambe Bay Inquiry report into infant and maternal deaths and NHS England’s Five Year Forward View.

Its terms of reference, published in March last year, requested the expert panel develop evidence-based proposals for the “future shape of modern, high quality and sustainable maternity services”.

National maternity review

Peer announced as chair of national review of maternity in England

Julia Cumberlege

In particular, they were asked to make recommendations on safe and efficient models of maternity services, including midwife-led units, to ensure the NHS enables women to make safe and appropriate choices, and to support staff, including midwives, to provide responsive care.

In her latest blog on the review on 1 February, Baroness Cumberlege said the review’s recommendations would “shape services for years to come”.

“Maternity services must become safer, more personalised, kinder, professional and more family friendly,” she said.

She added: “Naturally it is extremely important that we can ensure our recommendations can be delivered sustainably now and in the long term, so that future generations will benefit from maternity services that are among the best in the world, putting the woman, her baby and family at the centre of care.

“The groundwork we are doing now will ensure that the report has maximum impact from the day that it is published,” said Baroness Cumberlege.

A start of a review of maternity care models in Scotland was also announced in February last year by Scottish ministers.

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