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GPs to offer personal maternity budgets

First Personal Care Maternity Budget site goes live in Liverpool this week

Mark Gould

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

The first of seven pioneer sites offering mothers-to-be Personal Care Maternity Budgets (PCMBs) has been launched this week in selected GP surgeries in Liverpool. NHS England says PMCBs are a tool which allow the system to ensure that the funding of maternity services follows the choices that a woman makes and allows the service to become more personalised.

NHS England has also published a series of Q&As to address some of the questions people have about PMCBs and how they will work.

Jennie Walker NHS England's Assistant Head of Patient Choice said that, by the end of this financial year, women across the country benefiting from "a more open and transparent conversation about the choices available to them and choosing how they are supported in each stage of their maternity and birth journey".

Ms Walker says a group of Maternity Choice and Personalisation Pioneers are a key driver for the personalisation and choice work stream, making sure that maternity care is tailored to women, their baby and their families. They are testing PMCBs as a means to achieving this.

"Women in Pioneer areas will start to see choices available to them across CCG boundaries, new services being commissioned or new providers being offered. The Pioneers have each developed a plan which is based on the needs and drivers for their local systems, to increase the choices available to a woman," she said.

Pioneers have been working with local stakeholders and women to develop how the PCMB system will look like in each locality. "I am excited to see the outcomes of this work, how the experience is different for the women and whether they feel more empowered to make the choices that are right for them," Ms Walker added.

NHS England has also announced the Early Adopters, who will focus on implementing the recommendations in the "Better Births" National Maternity review which was published in February. Birmingham United Maternity Partnership (BUMP) and Cheshire and Merseyside within the Pioneer programme are also involved in this work and will be able to share their learning of implementing the full suite of recommendations. "We will continue to develop best practice learning and system tools based on the Pioneer experience and I look forward to Pioneers and NHS England sharing these and seeing the effect of women being empowered at a key time in their lives," Ms Walker added.

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