More doctors should be trained to offer round the clock care for women with complex obstetric and gynaecological problems, recommends a new report by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (RCOG).
Currently care is largely delivered by trained doctors during the day and by trainees at night.
This is in response to a government call for "a full range of services" close to women.
The report also controversially recommends that the cost should be balanced by closing some maternity units and centralising specialist care and moving some obstetric care into the community.
The RCOG argue that if care is provided in this way for low-risk women there will not need to be as many units handling the more complicated cases.
Health Minister Dr Dan Poulter said: "A full range of services as close to home as possible is fundamental to safe, high quality maternity care and the government is working closely with professional associations to make this happen.
"The RCOG is right to outline how we can continue to provide better and more personalised maternity care for women."
This report is likely to sound alarm bells for midwives, including the RCM who has recently run a strong campaign for more midwives, as well as recommending one to one midwifery care as the gold standard.
Posted by Penny Hosie