UK maternity services to be redesigned and expanded, says government

The UK government has announced new measures to improve quality of care for mothers and new-born babies. The plans involve redesigning neonatal services, and hiring more expert neonatal nurses and specialists. There will be improved accommodation for critically ill newborn babies; wider availability of physiotherapy for mothers; and the delivery of an evidence-based infant feeding programme.

There is also a role for digital technology. Child health records, known as the 'red book' will be digitised. There will also be a piloting of digitisation of maternity records, with the goal of digitising 100,000 records in 2019.

Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care said: "Every parent will remember the red book that comes from the NHS with each baby. In this digital age we need to keep pace with the times. So, from birth, each child will now be able to start life using the best of modern technology – in a way that’s easier for parents and fit for the future."

The plans are backed by the funding increase of £20.5 billion every year by 2023 to 2024 for the NHS in England.