NHS Long Term Plan Published

7 January 2019

NHS England have published their Long Term Plan. The plan outlines how patient care will be improved over the next ten years.

The plan outlines the following points in relation to neonatal and maternity services:

  • A redesign and expansion of neonatal critical care services to improve the safety and effectiveness of services and experience of families. In particular, addressing the shortage of neonatal capacity through the introduction of more Neonatal Intensive Care Cots where the Neonatal Critical Care Review has identified under capacity. Improved triage within expert maternity and neonatal centres so that the right level of care is available to babies as close to the family home as possible.
  • Extra neonatal nurses and expanded roles for some allied health professionals to support neonatal nurses.
  • From 2021/22, care coordinators will work with families within each of the clinical neonatal networks across England to support families to become more involved in the care of their baby and invest in improved parental accommodation.
  • A rollout of the Saving Babies Lives Care Bundle (SBLCB), to every maternity unit in England in 2019.
  • A focus on preventing pre-term birth, which will minimise unnecessary intervention and define a more holistic approach to risk assessment during labour, alongside further improvements to cardiotocography monitoring, and reductions in smoking during pregnancy.
  • Encouraging development of specialist pre-term birth clinics across England.
  • Encouraging the clinically appropriate use of magnesium sulphate
  • By spring 2019, every trust in England with a maternity and neonatal service will be part of the National Maternal and Neonatal Health Safety Collaborative.
  • By March 2021, most women receive continuity of the person caring for them during pregnancy, during birth and postnatally.
  • By 2023/24, all women will be able to access their maternity notes and information through their smart phones or other devices.
  • All maternity services that do not deliver an accredited, evidence-based infant feeding programme, such as the UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative, will begin the accreditation process in 2019/20.

Read the plan in full