NHS Forth Valley Off to the Best Start

NHS Forth Valley is one of five NHS Boards that will take forward the early implementation of The Best Start recommendations for maternity and neonatal services.

Cabinet Secretary for Health Shona Robison said: “Five Early Adopter Boards have been selected to lead the way across NHS Scotland in implementing a package of recommendations from The Best Start report.

“Continuity of carer in particular is what women told us they want, what staff told us they want to be able to provide and the evidence tells us delivers better outcomes for women and babies.

“I am delighted that we have made this key step in the journey towards implementation and that women in these five Boards will begin to experience continuity of carer for their antenatal, intrapartum and postnatal care and to have that care delivered as close to home as possible through Community Hubs.

“Having these five Boards leading from the outset will enable learning for the whole of NHS Scotland from a range of geographical areas and settings.”

Gillian Morton, NHS Forth Valley’s Head of Midwifery, said: “We are delighted to have been selected to take part in this important initiative which will enable us to deliver more maternity care in local health centres, clinics and community facilities across Forth Valley.”

The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) Director for Scotland, Mary Ross-Davie said; “The RCM very much welcomes this announcement as it signals the next active phase of implementation of the Best Start Review. The five chosen health boards are suitable as they represent the key variations in Scottish maternity care – covering large urban areas, remote and rural areas and mid size health boards with a mixture of rural and urban areas.

“The RCM has been proactively engaged with the implementation process nationally with a place on the implementation board and the national working groups. We will also continue to provide support and advice to our members locally across Scotland to enable them to plan positively for successful implementation of the Best start Review Recommendations


The five Early Adopter Boards are

  • NHS Forth Valley
  • NHS Highland
  • NHS Lanarkshire
  • NHS Lothian
  • NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (part Board – Clyde only)

These Boards will lead in implementing:

  • the midwifery continuity of carer model for all women, including vulnerable women and families;
  • a new model for hospital based maternity services, including postnatal neonatal care; and the associated core workforce;
  • aligned and co-located midwifery and obstetric teams;
  • enhanced roles for support workers in the community and in community hubs;
  • Community Hubs for the delivery of maternity care and, in-time, neonatal outreach.

The Early Adopter Boards will being planning for implementation of this package in 2018.