I believe every woman and their baby should receive personalised, high quality care. One of the key commitments in the NHS Long Term Plan (LTP) is to make the NHS one of the safest places in the world to give birth. The LTP set out a range of new measures to improve women’s experience of pregnancy. Further, the Government has appointed two expert national maternity safety champions and established an £8 million Maternity Safety Training fund to support safety training for all maternity staff.
I am glad that women who are healthy and have not experienced complications can choose to give birth in the place that feels right for them. This can be at home, in a midwifery unit, or at a hospital. As part of putting the interests of women at the heart of the process, NHS England and NHS Improvement have committed to the rollout of Midwifery Continuity of Carer, so that it becomes the default model of care for women using maternity services across England by March 2023.
To help deliver this and the LTP the Government is working to increase the number of midwives by expanding midwifery training places by 3,650 over a four-year period to 2022/23 and making a non-repayable, training grant of at least £5,000 per academic year available for eligible midwifery students.
I am proud to support a Government that is giving women more choice, making services safer and helping to shape maternity care for years to come.