The Scottish government has announced that a national review of maternity services will be led by Jane Grant, the chief executive of NHS Forth Valley health board.
The review was announced in February 2015 to “refresh” the government’s approach to maternity and neonatal services.
It comes in light of growing pressure on maternity services at the same time as a move to more choice in birthing options, such as midwife-led units and home births.
The review group will consider the levels and type of services currently available, and examine new evidence about the benefits of different birth settings for mothers and babies.
“We will talk to families who use the services, and the professionals who deliver them”
The impact of changing birth rates and demographics on facilities will also be considered, as will findings from the independent Morecambe Bay Investigation, which was carried out by Dr Bill Kirkup and published in March.
The Kirkup report into care failings at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay Trust has also sparked a similar review of maternity services in England that is being led by Baroness Julia Cumberlege.
Following her appointment, Ms Grant will now select the members of her expert review group. The final report is due to be presented to ministers next summer.
Ms Grant described the review as a “very important piece of work” that would examine maternity and neonatal services in detail.
“We will talk to families who use the services, and the professionals who deliver them,” she said.
“Our aim is to identify a series of recommendations that will seek to enhance services so that the health service can continue to deliver safe, efficient and sustainable services for women and their babies,” she added.
“Through this review we want to create a refreshed model of care”
Public health minister Maureen Watt said: “Through this review we want to create a refreshed model of care, focusing on what works well and spreading best practice across our NHS.
“Under Jane’s guidance, the review will look at giving mums-to-be a choice of options, to ensure that services are available in the right place at the right time,” she said.
“We will consider fresh ideas for how we can make existing services even better and safer, based on the best available evidence and feedback from families and front line staff,” she added.
Jane Grant was appointed chief executive of NHS Forth Valley on 1 October 2013, having previously been chief operating officer for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.
She joined the NHS in 1983 as a management services officer with Highland Health Board.