Maternity services in England - Public Accounts Committee Contents


The vast majority of women have good outcomes from NHS maternity services and most rate the care they receive as excellent or very good. However, performance and outcomes could be much better. The rate of stillbirths and babies dying within seven days of birth is higher in England than in the other UK nations, there is significant variability in the quality of care between trusts, and there are persistent inequalities in the experiences of different groups of women. When NHS maternity care goes wrong, the impact can be devastating for those affected and costly for the taxpayer. Nearly a fifth of spending on maternity services is for clinical negligence cover. The Department of Health (the Department) published Maternity Matters, its strategy for maternity services, in 2007 and yet still has little grip in key areas and little assurance about performance.

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Prepared 31 January 2014