Nurses and midwives are being encouraged to take part in NHS England’s national maternity review via a newly-launched online survey.
The panel leading the review said it wanted to hear from healthcare professionals as well as commissioners, charities and families on how to improve maternity services.
Led by Baroness Julia Cumberlege, the review was set up in the wake of the Morecambe Bay Inquiry report into infant and maternal deaths, and also following publication of NHS England’s Five Year Forward View.
“All the suggestions and ideas submitted will be used to drive our recommendations and help us create a high quality service for the future”
The 17-strong review panel includes Royal College of Midwives chief executive Cathy Warwick, Dame Donna Kinnair - clinical director for the emergency department at Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals - and James Titcombe, the father of a baby that died at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay Foundation Trust.
It will assess current maternity care provision and consider how services should be developed to meet the “changing needs” of women and babies, in particular the idea that more people would prefer to give birth at home or in community settings.
The panel aims to make recommendations on safe and efficient models of maternity services – including midwife-led units.
As part of its work, the review will pay particular attention to the challenges of achieving these aims in more geographically isolated areas, which was highlighted in the Morecambe Bay Inquiry report.
Last month it was announced Bill Kirkup, who led the probe into infant and maternal deaths at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust, will be a special adviser to the review, looking at the extent of variation between maternity services.
The online survey on maternity services, which is free, anonymous and expected to take around five minutes to complete, is open until 31 October.
“We have developed this online consultation to ensure that everyone has the chance to contribute and that all voices are heard,” said Baroness Cumberlege.
“Our conclusions will be shaped by the feedback we receive, and all the suggestions and ideas submitted will be used to drive our recommendations and help us create a high quality service for the future,” she added.