About this event

  • Date and time Thu 16 May 2019 from 9:00am to 3:30pm
  • Location Royal Society of Medicine
  • Organised by Maternity and the Newborn Forum

This event explores what has been achieved and the challenges faced in the maternity transformation programme since the publication of the Better Births report in 2016.

Key speakers will address why it is important maternity care professionals continue to learn and support the improvement of maternity services through Better Births learnings. 

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Topics include:

  • Experiences and outputs from early adopters of Better Births 
  • Personalising care: models; perspectives of multi-professionals, women and families  
  • Pre-emptive strategies to optimise health and wellbeing 

Better Births background

In 2015, Chief Executive of NHS England announced a major review of maternity services as part of the NHS Five Year Forward View. 

Baroness Julia Cumberlege (a key speaker) led on this review as an independent expert and drawing on wide-ranging evidence and in consultation with women and their families, and a wide range of stakeholders including NHS staff. The review published its findings in the “Better Births” report in 2016. 

The Better Births report has a clear vision: For maternity services to become safer, more personalised, kinder, professional, and more family friendly. 


Illustration by Merlin Strangeway for the maternal journal website @maternaljrnl

Key speakers

Baroness Julia Cumberlege

Baroness Julia Cumberlege, CBE DL

Independent Chair, National Maternity Review 

Speaker's biography

Baroness Julia Cumberlege CBE DL was appointed a Junior Health Minister in 1992 and for five years she covered all Health and Social Services matters in the House of Lords. She has been commissioned by two Governments to produce two national reports: “Neighbourhood Nursing – a Focus for Care” and “Changing Childbirth”.


At the invitation of the Royal College of Physicians, Baroness Cumberlege has chaired two working parties. The first report “Doctors in Society” was published in December 2005. The second, “Future Physician, Changing Doctors in Changing Times”, was published in May 2010. She conducted a review of maternity services for NHS England in 2015.


Better Births, the report of the review, recommended that all women should have the choice to give birth where they want, with the support of the same midwife throughout pregnancy, labour and the early weeks of motherhood. 


View the programme

Registration, tea and coffee
Welcome to the Maternity and the Newborn Forum meeting

Ms Nina Khazaezadeh, Consultant Midwife in Public Health and President, Maternity & Newborn Forum, Royal Society of Medicine

Introduction and overview of the learning objectives

Baroness Julia Cumberlege CBE DL, Independent Chair, National Maternity Review

National ambition for transforming maternity care

Baroness Julia Cumberlege CBE DL

Session one: Better Births: An Overview

Better Births

Kate Brintworth, Royal College of Midwives Lead, Maternity Transformation Programme

Tea and coffee break

Strategies to implement the "Better Births" recommendation

Transforming perceptions of midwifery

Claire Mathews, Deputy Head of Maternity, NHS England

Personalising care

Lisa Ramsey, Service User Voice Policy Manager, Maternity Transformation Programme, NHS England and Helen Maric, Personalising care in NW London, Acting Implementation Lead - Maternity Transformation Programme, NW London Strategy & Transformation Partnership

Continuity of carer

Claire Mathews, Deputy Head of Maternity, NHS England

Maternity and the Newborn Forum: Annual general meeting

For Forum members – open to all

Session three: Implementation

Presentation of the Basil Lee new media bursary

Laura Godfrey-Isaacs, Community Midwife, King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Organisational change

Carmel McCalmont, Director of Midwifery, Birmingham and Solihull Local Maternity System and Sarah Noble Head of Midwifery, South Warwickshire NHS Trust

Exploring the influence of maternity care culture

Dr Juliet Rayment, Honorary Research Fellow, Centre for Maternal and Child Health Research City, University of London

Facilitating the implementation of change

Dr James Harris, Senior Clinical Maternity Lecturer, University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust


Concluding remarks by Baroness Cumberlege
Close of meeting

Dr Ethel Burns, Senior Lecturer, Oxford Brookes University


Royal Society of Medicine, 1 Wimpole St, Marylebone, London, W1G 0AE, United Kingdom

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