The National Maternity Review is expected to recommend that every woman will have a personal budget to spend on NHS care however they want.
The hope is that this will change how maternity services look over the next 5 years to become ‘safer, personalised, kinder, professional and more family-friendly’.
Woman can choose where they give birth with the option of staying at home, going to a midwife-led unit or going to hospital.
In recent years, maternity services have worked hard to give more options, choice and for women and their families to be involved in what happens during their pregnancy and birth. It is hoped this will give women a greater say in their maternity care then ever before.
The budget has been option to criticism. When the tax free £190 ‘Health in Pregnancy Grant’ was given to all women to encourage healthy eating and to prepare for the birth of their baby, some grants actually went towards game consoles, holidays or larger TV’s. This is where the critic’s resistance lies with a birth budget. It is thought that the budget can only be spent in accredited provider’s under the scheme, therefore preventing the chance of abuse.
This concept of giving more choice, a more experience and safer experience would be welcomed by all midwives and that government is aware that a safe service cannot be provided on a small budget. We can only wait to see how this budget may affect the way maternity services look in the future.