Work will take place to improve safety standards in maternity care, the government has announced.

The announcement comes as the government responds to the independent review into East Kent maternity services, which was led by Dr Bill Kirkup. The review was launched to investigate failings in the standard of maternity care at East Kent Hospitals NHS Trust.

Maria Caulfield MP, Minister for Women's Health, said the government will continue to work with the NHS to raise standards, including investing in the maternity workforce. She will now chair a new group overseeing maternity services nationwide.

The Maternity and Neonatal Care National Oversight Group will bring together key people from the NHS and other organisations. It will look at work being carried out by a range of programmes set up to improve maternity and neonatal care to ensure they are joined up and effective.

Responding to this news, Shauna Leven, Chief Executive of Twins Trust, said: "We are pleased to hear that measures are being taken to further improve safety standards in maternity care. Women deserve to have the highest standard of care during and after pregnancy. Our families are disproportionately impacted by failures in maternity services and have been failed time and time again. It's right that this has now been highlighted as an urgent priority. The government must make sure that the right funding and plans are in place to improve maternity care.

"At Twins Trust, we work closely with maternity units through our Maternity Engagement Project to improve maternity care for multiple pregnancies.

"We hope that Maria Caulfield MP will pay particular attention to multiple pregnancies in her work to ensure that our families get the best care possible."