Tuesday, 23 February 2016

The Maternity Services Review: will women have genuine "choice"?

The long awaited Maternity Services Review has been published today! There is lots to welcome in the proposals. A much needed focus on perinatal and postnatal mental health. A recognition of the importance of continuity of care. Appropriate payments for service providers. Better collaborative working between health professionals.

Plans also include a £3000 personal birth budget allocated per woman to spend as she "chooses", be it on midwife care in the community, a home birth or hospital birth and complementary therapies such as hypnobirthing. This figure apparently reflects the average cost of a straightforward pregnancy and birth. But is this genuine choice?