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CCGs “must be more responsible for maternity outcomes”


23 February 2016

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Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) must take on greater responsibility for improving maternity outcomes, with demonstrable progress by 2020, a landmark report states.

The report is in light of the National Maternity Review – chaired by Baroness Julia Cumberlege, and commissioned by NHS England – which gave 14 recommended actions.

Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) must take on greater responsibility for improving maternity outcomes, with demonstrable progress by 2020, a landmark report states.

The report is in light of the National Maternity Review – chaired by Baroness Julia Cumberlege, and commissioned by NHS England – which gave 14 recommended actions.

In order for CCGs to take on more responsibility by 2020, NHS England should seek volunteer localities to act as early adopter sites in a two-year programme to begin in September 2016, the report stated.

All women should also be put in control of their own maternity care budgets by 2020, the report urged, so that they have “direct control over which provider receives money for their maternity care”.

This would mean that more women could give birth in the community if they choose, from local providers approved by the Care Quality Commission, meeting womens’ choices while saving NHS money.

In September, four pilot sites are expected to launch to test this, backed by £8m from NHS England over three financial years.

The money should “follow the woman and her baby as far as possible, so as to ensure women’s choices drive the flow of money”, the report said.

The payment system for maternity services should also be reformed and take into account the different cost structures that different services have, the report stated. 

For example a large proportion of obstetric units need to be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week regardless of the volume of services that they provide.

The review also found large variation and “meaningful differences” across the country, and “further opportunities to improve the safety of care and reduce still births.”

See the full report here

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