I am today announcing steps towards ensuring that the majority of women will receive care from the same small team of midwives throughout their pregnancy, labour and birth by 2021, starting with 20% of women benefiting from a ‘continuity of carer’ model by March 2019.
Women who have continuity of carer are 19% less likely to miscarry, 16% less likely to lose their baby and 24% less likely to have a premature baby.
To support this, the Department of Health and Social Care is planning the largest ever increase in NHS midwives and maternity support staff, 650 new training places for midwives in 2019—a 25% increase. We will continue to work with universities and the NHS to create even more training places in subsequent years to fill the gap of 3,000 midwives.
Other key parts of the announcement include:
Professionalising the maternity support worker role by developing a nationally defined role and national competency frameworks for maternity support workers together with a voluntary accreditation register.
Working with our key partners including the Royal College of Midwives, to identify better and clearer pathways for staff to progress and to develop new training routes to become a registered midwife.