Starting well and the NHS Long Term Plan

A baby in an incubator

The NHS is working to offer personal and safe care to women and their families to make sure that children get the best start in life possible. We have seen significant reductions in stillbirths and neonatal deaths, coupled with improvements in women’s experience of care in childbirth over the past few years.

The NHS Long Term Plan explains how we will continue to improve maternity care over the next decade, but also explains how we will improve services for children with common long-term conditions.

These plans include making sure safety in maternity services continues to improve, offering women more choice, and specialist support is given to mothers who are at risk of premature birth, including support to stop smoking.

Hundreds of thousands more women will benefit from continuity of carer during pregnancy, and all women will be able to access their maternity notes and information online and on their smartphones.

Starting well – five key commitments

  1. Deliver 50% reductions in stillbirth, mother and child deaths and serious brain injury.
  2. Ensure most women receive continuity of carer throughout their pregnancy and beyond by 2021, with a focus on those groups who will benefit most.
  3. Expand support for perinatal mental health conditions, with 24,000 more women accessing specialist services by 2023/24.
  4. Reduce A&E attendances by children by improving services elsewhere, and improve the quality of care for children with long term conditions such as asthma, epilepsy and diabetes.
  5. Treat a further 1,000 children a year for severe complications related to their obesity, such as diabetes, cardiovascular conditions, sleep apnoea and poor mental health, by 2022/23.

Case studies

View our starting well case studies.