The National Maternity Review commissioned by NHS England was published on Tuesday. Here are its key recommendations:

  1. Women should have a personal maternity care budget giving them direct control of who provides their care. This would include NHS and non-NHS providers but all would need to meet set standards for quality and governance.
  2. Community hubs should be established offering care to mothers, including a range of services from different providers.
  3. Every woman should have a midwife who is part of a community based team of 4-6 midwives. Each team would also have an associated obstetrician with a workload of 30-40 births per midwife.
  4. Providers and commissioners should come together in local maternity systems covering populations of 500,000 to 1.5 million with pilots to start in September.
  5. Clinical commissioning groups should commission for outcomes to improve services and the payment system for maternity should be reformed to recognise fixed costs of hospital units as well as rural areas, and so money follows patient choice.
  6. Nationally agreed indicators should be agreed and used to benchmark local maternity services.
  7. A national standardised investigation process should be set up for when things go wrong with a rapid redress and resolution scheme.
  8. A dedicated review of the future of neonatal services to be carried out.
  9. By 2020 every woman should have a personalised care plan setting out her decisions and needs.
  10. Women should receive unbiased information to inform choice.
  11. There should be rapid referral protocols to enable access to specialised services.
  12. There should be significant investment in perinatal mental health services.
  13. Midwives and doctors should train together “where practical and sensible.”
  14. Electronic maternity records rolled out nationally.

Women should control maternity care budgets, review says