A NEW plan to improve maternity services across Wales has been announced, with more than £1 million to be spent across all of the nation’s health boards.

Under new Welsh Government plans, maternity and neonatal champions will be appointed to every health board.

These new employees are set to work within a new team, which will report to the Chief Nursing Officer for Wales.

As part of these plans, it is hoped that the “safety, experience and outcomes for mothers and babies in Wales” will be improved.

And, according to the Welsh Government, the Maternity and Neonatal Safety Support Programme in Wales “will ensure clear and consistent approach to maternity and neonatal safety across Wales”.

How will it work?

The first phase of the £1.15 million scheme will see Improvement Cymru supporting the health boards, in a bid to identify priorities and improvements.

This will allow each region to tailor the programme to their specific area, with the overall goal of providing every child with the best start in life.

Each regional champion will report back to the national group to consider national challenges – some of which include the impact of services from the covid pandemic.

The programme has been set-up following the learning from the recommendations of the review into Maternity and Neonatal Services in Cwm Taf Morgannwg and the recently published Quality and Safety Framework which recognised the need for a thorough, consistent and strategic approach to safety in maternity services.

What has been said about the new plans?

The minister for health and social services, Eluned Morgan said: “I am delighted to launch the Maternity and Neonatal Safety Support Programme.

“This Programme will create national standards to ensure all pregnant people, babies and families experience safe, high quality health care and can influence decisions over the care they receive.

“Reducing health inequalities, ensuring services are patient focused and creating an inclusive, flexible multi-professional, talented workforce are priorities for this government and this Programme will set the foundation for making these priorities central to all NHS services.”

Chief nursing officer for Wales, Sue Tranka said: “Women and children are at the heart of this program putting families at the centre of decisions so that all women, babies and their families get the highest quality of care which meets their needs. Improving maternity services is essential to support the healthy and happy families and communities of the future.

“I am grateful for the enthusiasm and commitment of all those involved in developing this programme and we will continue to ensure pregnancy and birth remains a positive experience for families.”