Review of Maternity and Neonatal Services in Scotland

Date: 24th January 2017
Category: Health and health services

In February 2015 the Minister for Public Health, Ms Maureen Watt MSP, announced a Review of Maternity and Neonatal services in Scotland. The results of the review have now been published.

Jane Grant, Chief Executive, NHS Forth Valley was appointed in July 2015 to lead on the Review.
A Review Group and four sub groups were established to make recommendations for a Scottish model of care that contributes to the Scottish Government's aims of person-centred care which provides the right care for every woman and baby every time and giving all children the best start in life.

The refreshed Framework in Maternity Care was published in 2011 and the Quality Framework for Neonatal Care published in Scotland in 2013. However, to ensure that maternity and neonatal services in Scotland are as good as they can be, the time is right to refresh the approach to them in order that care is person-centred, and as safe, sustainable, and high quality as possible.

The review examined choice, quality and safety of maternity and neonatal services in light of current evidence and best practice, in consultation with the workforce, the Boards and the service users, and made a number of recommendations for a Scottish model of care.

Key Recommendations:

  • Continuity of Carer: all women will have continuity of carer from a primary midwife, and midwives and obstetric teams will be aligned with a caseload of women and co-located for the provision of community and hospital based services.
  • Mother and baby at the centre of care: Maternity and Neonatal care should be co-designed with women and families from the outset, and put mother and baby together at the centre of service planning and delivery as one entity.
  • Multi-professional working: Improved and seamless multi-professional working.
  • Safe, high quality, accessible care, including local delivery of services, availability of choice, high quality postnatal care, colocation of specialist maternity and neonatal care, services for vulnerable women and perinatal mental health services.
  • Neonatal Services: proposes a move to a new model of neonatal intensive care services in Scotland in the short and long term.
  • Supporting the service changes: recommendations about transport services, remote and rural care, telehealth and telemedicine, workforce, education and training, quality improvement and data and IT.
  • Read the report 'The Best Start: A Five-Year Forward Plan for Maternity and Neonatal Care in Scotland' here.

Jane Grant, Chief Executive from NHS Forth Valley, has written about her experience as Chair of the Review, reflecting on the importance of the contributions of women, families and professionals to the review.