Postnatal Care

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 12th June 2019.

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Photo of Faisal Rashid Faisal Rashid Labour, Warrington South

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will add the six-week maternal postnatal check to the GP contract.

Photo of Seema Kennedy Seema Kennedy The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

An agreement on whether additional items will be included in the 2020/21 general practitioner (GP) contract – such as the inclusion of a specific universal maternal six-week postnatal check – will be made following negotiations between NHS England and the GP profession later this year. No decisions have been made on which issues are to be included in the negotiating remit.

Post-natal care can be delivered by a number of different providers, including midwives, health visitors and GPs. Currently, commissioners and providers should ensure that women are offered a review of their physical, emotional and social wellbeing by a healthcare professional at the end of the postnatal period (between 6-8 weeks). National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidelines on postnatal care stipulate that a documented, individualised postnatal care plan should be developed with the woman ideally in the antenatal period or as soon as possible after birth.

The NHS Long Term Plan highlights that we will continue to work with midwives, mothers and their families to implement continuity of carer so that, by March 2021, most women receive continuity of person caring for them during pregnancy, birth and postnatally.

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