Midwives have broadly supported the recommendations made to the Government by the NHS Future Forum on the modernisation of health and care.

The independent group, set up to "pause, listen and reflect" on the Health and Social Care Bill, recommends involving more health professionals (not just GPs) in local decisions, as well as those relating to the commissioning of care. All their recommendations will now be considered and responded to by the Government.

Forum Chairman Professor Steve Field, a practising GP from Birmingham, said: "During our listening we heard genuine and deep-seated concerns from NHS staff, patients and the public that must be addressed if the reforms are to be progressed."

Commenting on all the recommendations, Sean O'Sullivan, Head of Policy at the Royal College of Midwives (RCM), said: "Much of this makes sense to us. Competition in the provision of maternity care is not an option we would support and would harm, not improve services.

"We also agree that more focus should be on integration of services. Maternity services, more than most, need integrated and coordinated care.

"We believe that the NHS cannot stand still, but reform must be for a purpose and must improve the care that women and babies receive. If it does not do this, then it should not be done.

"The recommendation that the Secretary of State remains accountable for the NHS is a sensible and welcome step."

Posted by Penny Hosie on 13.6.11 Comment on this article by sending it to: penny.hosie@pavpub.com  

 Midwives and Nurses