England short of almost 2 500 midwives, new birth figures confirm. 2019. (accessed 2 June 2020)

The report of the Morcambe Bay investigation. 2015. (accessed 2 June 2020)

NHS. Better births: improving outcomes of maternity services in England – a five year forward view for maternity care. 2016. (accessed 2 June 2020)

NHS. NHS Long term plan. 2019. (accessed 2 June 2020)

What midwives think of the continuity of carer model

02 July 2020
7 min read
Volume 28 · Issue 7


How effective is the continuity of carer model? India Wentworth finds out by asking midwives to share their experiences

Maternity care is a subject often featuring in the news and, in recent years, this has been for the wrong reasons. One example that springs to mind is the Morecambe Bay investigation published in 2015. There were concerns over serious incidents in the maternity departments of the Furness General Hospital, part of the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay. Covering 2004–2013, the report (Kirkup, 2015) revealed 20 significant failures of care which resulted in the deaths of three mothers and 16 babies. This is just one case of where maternity care has failed. It is situations like these that triggered the NHS to start changing the model for maternity care.

In 2016, the NHS released its ‘Five-year plan’ (NHS, 2019) and within that came a lot of changes around the subject of midwifery. ‘Better births’ (NHS, 2016) is a national maternity programme brought in to implement the vision for safer and more personalised care across England. This programme included the national ambition of halving the number of stillbirths, neonatal and maternal mortality, and brain injury by 2025.

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