The best start: five-year plan for maternity and neonatal care

A five-year forward plan for the improvement of maternity and neonatal services in Scotland.


Photo of Jane Grant Review Chair and Chief Executive, NHS Forth Valley

Shaping Services For The Future

Wherever women and babies live in Scotland and whatever their circumstances, all women should have a positive experience of maternity and neonatal care which is focused on them, and takes account of their individual needs and preferences. All women, their babies, their partners and their families should be aware of the support and choices that are available to them in order that they can be partners in care and achieve the best outcomes for them and their family.

This report sets out a vision for the future planning, design and safe delivery of high quality maternity and neonatal services in Scotland. It puts the family at the centre of decisions so that all women, babies and their families get the highest quality of care according to their needs.

Our current services have evolved over many years and the time is right for a refreshed model of maternity and neonatal care-based on the current available evidence, best practice and feedback from families and frontline staff to design and further improve existing services.

Person-centred, safe and high quality care for mothers and babies throughout pregnancy, birth and following birth can have a marked effect on the health and life chances of women and babies and on the healthy development of children throughout their life.

Truly family-centred care will maximise the opportunity to establish the building blocks for strong family relationships, and for confident and capable parenting. This can help to reduce the impact of inequalities and deprivation which can have longer-term health consequences for families. Good maternity and neonatal care will support the best possible outcomes for mothers, babies and the wider family.

Our key objective is to focus on the individual needs of each and every family, and in achieving this aim, we will improve the quality and safety of services and secure improved health and wellbeing for mothers and babies in the short, medium and long term.

Jane Grant
Review Chair and Chief Executive, NHS Forth Valley

January 2017



Back to top