A new working group made up of representatives of health authorities and senior figures from the royal colleges of midwives, paediatricians, and obstetricians and gynaecologists is set to tackle the ongoing crisis in NHS maternity services.Leaked details of previous joint royal college reports, which have remained unpublished, have called for a radical restructuring of maternity services, including unit closures and mergers due to shortages of midwives and doctors.Public health minister Yvette Cooper said the maternity working group would make recommendations to ministers through a new children's taskforce, which will advise the Department of Health on models of care, working practices and standards of maternity and neonatal care.

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