Maternity Transformation

Better Births, Baroness Cumberledge’s National Maternity Review was published by NHS England in February 2016 and sets out how the NHS can develop services to provide women with higher quality, safer and more personalised care, as well as how to improve postnatal care and perinatal mental health services. The Clinical Network is working closely with providers and partners such as the perinatal mental network, operational delivery networks (ODNs), the Academic Health Science Network and Public Health England to support the implementation of the recommendations made in Better Births.

The report outlines a vision for the future of maternity services: “Our vision for maternity services across England is for them to become safer, more personalised, kinder, professional and more family friendly; where every woman has access to information to enable her to make decisions about her care; and where she and her baby can access support that is centred around their individual needs and circumstances. And for all staff to be supported to deliver care which is woman centred, working in high performing teams, in organisations which are well led and in cultures which promote innovation, continuous learning, and break down organisational and professional boundaries.”

Better Births recommended that maternity transformation be driven locally by Local Maternity Systems (LMS). There are five LMSs in the East Midlands, aligned to the footprints of the Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships. The Clinical Network is an active member of all five LMSs and acts as a conduit between the LMS and the regional and national maternity teams. A bespoke support package has been devised by NHS England in partnership with Local Maternity Systems themselves, and provided through the maternity Clinical Networks working together with the regional maternity boards and the national programme team. Support is tailored to the needs of each LMS, taking into account local opportunities, circumstances and challenges.Our role as the Clinical Network is to:

  • Work in close partnership with the LMSs as their primary source of support
  • Provide clinical input and expertise supporting LMSs to draw up and implement local maternity transformation plans
  • Help the LMSs to understand and interpret national policy for local implementation
  • Support benchmarking of the quality of services and spread good practice from across the country
  • Bring in different part of the system as appropriate to support to individual LMSs to resolve particular local issues and challenges

The proposed network structure for 18/19 aims to better align with the Better Births Maternity Transformation agenda and respond to the challenge to support LMSs. Our work is divided into roughly three areas; working with obstetricians around complex pregnancies, working with midwifery colleagues to support midwifery led care and strengthen the voice of women and families, and supporting safer care working across the local maternity systems and with the Academic Health Science Network.Who to contact for further information: Ailsa Burton – Quality Improvement Coordinator