London Mayor Sadiq Khan is being urged to help drive up maternity care standards in the capital after councillors claimed there is a ‘postcode lottery’ in the delivery of services.
The London Assembly Health Committee wants Mayor Khan to ‘advocate for the NHS in London to carry out a review to learn lessons from the COVID-19 crisis, with the aim of determining how maternal health services in London should respond to future pandemics.’
It is also urging the Mayor to work with Mental Health First Aid England to ‘explore creating a bespoke curriculum for the mental health of pregnant women and birthing people, new mothers, and parents.’
The committee’s findings were based on a survey of 140 Londoners who have recently used maternity services and evidence from a range of organisations including Pregnant Then Screwed, Birthrights, Five X More and the Royal College of Midwives.
Chair of the London assembly health committee Krupesh Hirani said: ‘We recognise that this was a challenging time for the NHS and restrictions were put in place to keep people safe, but our investigation shows that lessons need to be learnt from the pandemic about how to improve maternity care in London.
‘Through our survey we heard about supportive and caring midwifery teams at London hospitals, but we were also told about difficult experiences while restrictions were in place – in some cases with long-lasting consequences on mental and physical health.’