Steve Brine MP

for Winchester & Chandler's Ford

26 MAR 2018

Steve Brine MP welcomes safety drive on maternity

Steve Brine has welcomed news that the Government will give the majority of women care from the same midwives throughout their pregnancy, labour and birth by 2021– as Ministers continue their drive to make the NHS the safest place in the world to give birth.

Speaking at the 'Maternity Transformation Programme: 2 Years On' event on Tuesday, Jeremy Hunt will announce that steps towards achieving this ambition will start with 20% of women benefitting from a 'continuity of carer' model by March 2019. Research suggests that women who use this model are 19% less likely to miscarry, 16% less likely to lose their baby and 24% less likely to have a premature baby.

To help deliver this ambition, he will announce the largest ever investment in NHS midwives and maternity support staff, with a plan to train 3000 extra midwives over 4 years, starting with 650 more midwives in training next year, increasing to 1000 in the subsequent years as capacity increases.

The measures come in the same week that midwives were awarded a pay rise of between 6.5% and 29%, as well as a boost to the starting salary to make midwifery a more attractive profession. A newly qualified band 5 midwife will start on a salary of £24,907 by 2020/21 – a 12.6% rise from the current starting salary.

This further underlines the Government's commitment to ensuring the NHS has the staff it needs to meet future demand and continue to deliver safe, high-quality care for patients.

Steve Brine, who is a Minister within Jeremy Hunt's Health team and has two primary age children, said: "As someone with two young children myself, both delivered wonderfully at RHCH, I am delighted at this news. This will be a profound change, transforming safety standards in a drive to give mums dedicated midwives. Crucially, this will mean they can get to know them personally and oversee their whole maternity journey.

"We know the statistics are clear, and that having a dedicated team of midwives who know you and understand your story can transform results for mothers and babies. This will reduce stillbirths, miscarriages and neonatal deaths, and therefore of course the appalling agony that comes with these tragedies.

"I am also particularly pleased that this will be backed up by the largest ever investment in midwifery raining, with a 25% expansion in the number of training places, as well as an incredibly well deserved pay rise for current midwives."

In order to give these extra midwives the support they need, the Secretary of State will also announce further investment in maternity support staff, including:

·         Professionalising the Maternity Support Worker (MSW) role – these are hugely important roles which provide support for women and babies, but whose roles and job titles vary widely and do not adhere to set standards. A defined role and national competency framework will be developed and a voluntary accredited register will be established to provide assurance to the public that they are appropriately trained to high standards.

·         Working with key partners such as the Royal College of Midwives to develop new training routes into midwifery. This will mean talented support workers can develop and move quickly to become registered midwives and help the midwifery profession attract and retain talented staff.

These measures will build on existing, world-leading measures to make the NHS the safest place in the world to give birth. This includes an ambition to halve the rates of stillbirths, neonatal and maternal deaths, and brain injuries that occur during or soon after birth by 2025 - and changes to allow the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch to conduct independent investigations into around 1,000 cases of term stillbirths, neonatal deaths or brain injuries that occur during labour and birth.

Pictured; Steve Brine discussing the new policy on Radio FiveLive on Sunday 25th March

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