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Maternity Transformation Programme 
Bulletin No.86:   24th September 2021

Maternity News
For a copy of the last MTP Bulletin and a listing for all previous MTP Bulletins please use this index link

HSCC Inquiry into the Safety of Maternity Services in England
The Health and Social Care Committee (HSCC) and its independent Expert Panel published two reports on 6 July following its inquiry into the Safety of maternity services in England and its Evaluation of Government maternity commitments.
Our response to the reports were laid in Parliament this afternoon, and can be accessed via the links below:
Response to HSCC Inquiry into the Safety of Maternity Services in England: Safety of maternity services in England: government response - GOV.UK ( 
HSCC independent Expert Panel’s Evaluation of Government Maternity Commitment: The HSCC expert panel's maternity evaluation: government response - GOV.UK ( 

CQC Survey: Safety, equity and engagement in maternity services
During 2019–20, the CQC developed and piloted a programme of focused inspections to look specifically at the safety of maternity services. Building on the learning from these pilot inspections, between March 2021 and June 2021 nine maternity services were visited and, alongside focused inspection, specific questions were explored around teamwork, culture, equity and engagement. 
The full report can be downloaded here from the CQC website

LMS Equity & Equality Action Plans: February 2022 submission
Equity & Equality:  Guidance for LMS requests that Local Maternity Systems submit Equity & Equality Action Plans by 28 February 2022; the plans should be agreed by the LMS board and the ICS partnership board and be published (p. 38).  The guidance did not specify the time period that the plans should cover.  LMS are requested to submit plans that cover five years from 1 April 2022 (i.e., up to and including 2026/27).  This will ensure that LMS Equity & Equality Action Plans align with the ICS duty to submit 5 year plans including around reducing inequalities (see page 20-21 of the Health & Social Care Bill), and noting this is subject to parliamentary approval.

Cochrane UK. Evidence for maternity care - new evidence and resources
Cochrane UK have published a collection of new evidence and resources on their website as a useful information source for midwives and clinical care staff. The preventing stillbirth collection brings together an update which includes the 2020 review as well as other research in a format that makes selecting topics of interest easily navigable with links to further information if required.

Folic Acid to be added to UK flour to help prevent birth defects - BBC news
Research shows that the policy of folic acid supplementation is failing and has led to health inequalities:  less than one in three women take folic acid supplements before pregnancy (with a reducing trend over time) with younger women and women from ethnic minority groups less likely to take folic acid supplements before pregnancy (Bestwick et al 2014).  And 45% of pregnancies and a third of births are unplanned or associated with feelings of ambivalence (Wellings et al 2013).
Folic acid is now planned to be introduced into UK flour - story covered by the BBC here 
If a woman has the right level of folic acid before pregnancy, it reduces the risk of the baby developing neural tube defects by up to 70%.
The Maternity Transformation Programme therefore strongly supports proposals to fortify flour and other cereal grain with folic acid whilst recognising that there is also an argument for more health education about the need to take folic acid when planning pregnancy as fortification alone will not be enough to provide the protective effect.

Birthrights and GMC – what does informed consent mean in maternity care?
Human rights law requires every individual to be treated with dignity and respect and for their autonomy to be upheld. These principles are at the heart of guidance given to doctors by their regulator the General Medical Council (‘GMC’).
During a pregnancy conversations with doctors about your care should be inclusive so that decisions are made by the woman on behalf of herself and baby. The GMC sets out how doctors should have conversations with women and birthing people in its Decision making and consent guidance

The full Birthrights/GMC blog on consent is available here.

MTP Collaboration Hub - membership numbers up and new discussion topics
Over 70 new members have joined the MTP Collaboration Hub in the last couple of months bringing the membership up to a total of 950. As a resource the Collaboration Hub is an efficient way to both review documents and resources from the MTP team and also ones shared by other members of the Hub.
Any member can upload documents and add a narrative to summarise its content and purpose.
If you have projects or initiatives that have worked well please do upload and share with the maternity community. and use the discussion forum to see if other people have found solutions to projects that you are planning to rollout.
Managing risk and safety in LMNSs is the latest ongoing discussion with many people commenting and offering contributing ideas. 
To join the hub if you are not already a members please click the link

Falling UK Birthrate - why are we not having children?
And lastly, an interesting read on the falling birthrate in the UK and why couples are not having children - the Guardian view

Dates for your diary

Next Week.....

Maternal Mental Health Services - implementation event
Wednesday 29 September 2021, 13:00 - 16:00

The national perinatal mental health team will be hosting an event for those involved in the design and delivery of MMHS, in Early Implementer sites, Fast Follower sites, and beyond!
Hear the latest programme updates and learn from what sites have been doing. We will also discuss next steps and how to prepare for transformation funding shifting to CCG baseline funding from 2022/23
For details please click the link:.Maternal Mental Health Services – implementation event

NHS Shine A Light on Coproduction Events
Wednesday 29th September Booking Link.  This event will shine a light on coproduction, showing what can be achieved when we work together with people with lived experience. Two projects will be showcased;

  • Guy’s & St Thomas Cancer Centre - Improving support for black men with prostate cancer and
  • Sussex Health and Care Partnership (SHCP) on Suicide Prevention Project. 

All events are 13:00 -14:30.
15th November 2021 Booking Link
18th January 2022 Booking Link
15th March 2022 Booking Link
We are always looking for showcasing our successful coproduction stories. If you wish to present at one of the above events then please get in touch at

Webinar: Everything you ever wanted to know about engaging Inclusion Health groups
18 October 2021 11:00am – 12:30pm

Join NHS England and NHS Improvements’ Public Participation Team for this 1-hour webinar exploring how best to engage with those who are socially excluded.  This would include those using maternity services with complex social factors, such as homelessness, drug and alcohol dependence, vulnerable migrants, Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities, sex workers, those in contact with the justice system and victims of modern slavery. (Inclusion Health: GOV.UK) 

Following weeks.......

Addressing Inequalities in Perinatal Care Conference
BAPM Annual Conference 2021
4 October 2021 9:00am to 5 October 2021 5:15pm
Programme schedule and links for tickets are on the BAPM website here.

Exploring the intersections between criminal justice and children’s social care during pregnancy and early motherhood
5th October 2021, 10:00 – 15:00  
Hosted by Birth Companions and Lancaster University's Centre for Child and Family Justice Research.
For more information and to book your free place visit the eventbrite website here

NHS England strategic events team: Health Inequalities Webinar Series
Webinars to help implement NHS Planning Guidance for 2021/22 

Session Date Link Bookings Close
Priority 1 and 2 session presented   
Priority 3: Ensuring datasets are complete and timely Thursday 30 September Register and further info 29 Sep @ 2pm
Priority 4: Accelerating Preventative Programmes Thursday 14 October Register and further info 13 Oct @ 2pm
Priority 5: Strengthening leadership and accountability Thursday 21 October  Register and further info 20 Oct @ 2pm

Diabetes in Pregnancy Conference 2021
16th November 1:30 - 4:15pm
This is the 10th year for the UK Diabetes in Pregnancy Conference. Full programe details can be viewed here and this year will include two LMNSs presenting:

  • Quality Improvement journey of Antenatal Diabetes Service at West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust
    Anku Mehta, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecology, Lead for Endocrine disorders in Pregnancy
    Angelina Ankomah, Specialist Diabetes Midwife
  • Maternity & Diabetes collaboration to improve outcomes: A MSE case study
    Marjorie Varney, Specialist Diabetes Midwife
    Angela Falltrick, Specialist Diabetes Midwife

A pdf for the programme can be downloaded here

Aide Memoir – Links to online resources 

National Maternity Dashboard
 RCOG – Landing Page for all Infection and Pregnancy guidance 
 RCM - Landing Page for all covid-19 guidance 
 SBLCBv2: Covid-19 information 
 Revised Guidance PPE – from PHE 
 HEE - Landing Page for Covid-19 training programme for health and care workforce 
NICE - landing page for all COVID guidance and resources
NHS Resolution – Covid-19 related guidance: including Early Notification and maternity incentive scheme Link

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