Getting Started: Developing the Local Strategy

In order to improve local maternity services, Northamptonshire Local Maternity Systems (LMS) needed to understand what our local mums, dads, partners and families felt worked well and what needed to improve. 

To do this, the LMS Board commissioned Healthwatch Northamptonshire to liaise with parents who had used maternity services across Northamptonshire (within a twelve month period at the point of the survey). The key areas of focus were continuity of care, safety, and provision of clear and consistent information to support informed choices. Mums were also asked about the support they received relating to their mental health.

In addition, we sought out views on how local maternity services currently support breastfeeding, stop smoking and healthy eating during pregnancy. The survey covered a pregnant mum’s journey through antenatal care, labour and postnatal care.

The Healthwatch report formed the foundations for developing the Northamptonshire Local Maternity Systems Partnership Transformation Plan. The full Healthwatch report on maternity services in Northamptonshire can be viewed by clicking here.

In addition the commissioners and hospital trusts take into consideration recommendations in the following reports:

  • The Department of Health report called “Safer Maternity Care.”
  • NHS England’s report designed to support hospital trusts, commissioners and healthcare professionals called “Saving Babies’ Lives: A care bundle for reducing stillbirth.”
  • MBRRACE (Mothers and Babies: Reducing Risk through Audits and Confidential Enquiries) surveillance reports. These reports gather data research which is funded by four UK governments. The report identifies critical gaps in care and focuses on key issues. MBRRACE work closely with Sands (Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Charity).