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Maternity workforce transformation strategy

Ensuring we have the right numbers of doctors, midwives, nurses and other professions and support workers is essential if the NHS in England is to meet rising demand from mothers and families to deliver safer more personalised care.

The purpose of the Maternity Workforce Transformation Strategy is to support NHS maternity services to deliver more personalised and safer care and improve outcomes for women by ensuring that there is the capacity in the workforce nationally.

It aims to do this by supporting and empowering individual teams and individual midwives, doctors and other health professionals (and the organisations they work in) to deliver that vision, and by ensuring that, overall, the NHS in England has the workforce it needs.

The strategy has been developed with partners to support the wider Maternity Transformation Programme to deliver the vision for the future of maternity services, and in particular:

  • The vision set out in Better Births, the report of the National Maternity Review
  • The ambition of the government to halve the rate of stillbirth, neonatal death, maternal death and serious intrapartum brain injury by 2025.

The strategy follows extensive stakeholder engagement on the size of the workforce required and the key actions needed to address workforce gaps between now and 2021.

The strategy has been produced with the help and support of our partners.   

NHS England, NHS Improvement, Royal College of Midwives, Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Nursing and Midwifery Council, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, Royal College of Nursing, NHS Providers, local maternity systems, midwives, maternity support workers, women and their families, plus charitable and voluntary organisations (National Childbirth Trust, SANDS and National Maternity Voices Partnerships).

This strategy is built on a wholescale analysis of workforce information and aims to ensure that there are sufficient numbers of staff in maternity services – both now and in the future. As well as setting out the vision set out in Better Births, this strategy also supports the delivery of the Government’s ambition for reducing the rate of stillbirths and neonatal and maternal deaths in England.

Professor Ian Cumming OBE, Chief Executive, Health Education England.

This strategy seeks to provide the support that our staff so desperately need, by commissioning the supply of workforce required, and helping to facilitate teams to work differently and more flexibly in an environment that enables learning and progression.

Sarah-Jane Marsh, Chief Executive, Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust,  Chair of the Maternity Transformation Programme Board, NHS England. 

Download the full strategy from the left or the executive summary below.


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