Sarah-Jane Marsh appointed Chair of NHS England’s Maternity Transformation Programme Board

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Sarah-Jane Marsh, the Chief Executive of Birmingham Children’s Hospital and Birmingham Women’s Hospital, has been appointed by NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens as the Chair of the new Maternity Transformation Programme Board.

The National Maternity Review: Better Births, published earlier this year, set out wide-ranging proposals designed to make care safer and give women greater control and more choices.

The Maternity Transformation Programme Board, which is in the process of being established, will drive forward the implementation of the Review, including work to reduce the rate of stillbirths, neonatal and maternal deaths in England.

Mr Stevens has recently appointed Cally Palmer as National Cancer Director, Claire Murdoch as National Mental Health Director, and Pauline Philip as Urgent and Emergency Care Director.

Sarah-Jane Marsh first joined the health service in 2000 via the Graduate Management Scheme. In December 2007, she became Chief Operating Officer at Birmingham Children’s Hospital and by March 2009 she was appointed as their Chief Executive. The hospital has been under her leadership for almost seven years and was recently named ‘Provider Trust of the Year’ by the Health Service Journal.

In 2015, Sarah-Jane also became the Chief Executive of Birmingham Women’s Hospital, with plans to create the first women and children’s hospital in Europe.

As well as her Chief Executive roles, Sarah-Jane is an active coach, nurturing emerging leaders. Her special interests are quality and service improvement and patient, family and staff engagement.

Sarah-Jane, said: “Pregnancy, birth and getting to know and love your baby should be the most precious and joyous time of a woman’s life. The Maternity Transformation Programme is committed to ensure that those working across maternity services have the right environment, tools and resources to continually improve care for woman and babies, in line with the vision set out in Better Births.

“As a passionate advocate for women’s and children’s services,  I am thrilled to be Chairing the Maternity Transformation Programme Board, and I look forward to working with colleagues from across the system, to make NHS maternity care truly world-leading.

Baroness Julia Cumberlege who led the National Maternity Review said: “I’m delighted that Sarah-Jane has been appointed by NHS England as Chair of the Maternity Transformation Programme Board.

“This marks a clear step forward towards delivering the recommendations laid out in the National Maternity Review – to ensure maternity services in England become safer, more personalised, kinder, professional and more family-friendly.”

Membership of the new programme board will include representation from key organisations; further information will be available over the coming weeks.

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