The Local Maternity and Neonatal Systems (LMNS) were set up in 2017 following the national review of maternity services, Better Births. The LMNS programme is underpinned by the Better Births vision for maternity services:
For Northamptonshire LMNS, this translates into various workstreams that form the basis of the LMNS Programme. These can be seen below.
The Promoting Good Practice for Safer Care Group is the system transformation workstream of the LMNS.
The workstream is led by Polly Leigh, LMNS Consultant Midwife and it brings together service users and quality improvement leads from maternity, neonatal care, health visiting, public health, local authority, maternal mental health and primary care with the aim of implementing the vision of Better Births. This is by promoting innovation, continuous learning, and breaking down organisational and professional boundaries.
Key projects that the Promoting Good Practice for Safer Care workstream are focusing on include:
The Ockenden Report (2021) requires that ‘Safety in maternity units across England must be strengthened by increasing partnerships between Trusts and within local networks.’ The LMNS must have greater oversight and has been given ‘greater responsibility, accountability and responsibility so that they can ensure the maternity services they represent provide safe services for all who access them’.
A monthly Perinatal Quality Surveillance meeting focuses on issues of safety and quality in line with requirements from Better Birth Maternity Transformation programme, NHS Long Term Plan, Ockenden Reports and Perinatal Quality Surveillance Model, to ensure there is a system-wide view of the quality and safety of maternity and neonatal services.
The Perinatal Quality Surveillance group is Chaired by Nicki Perry, LMNS Quality Governance & Risk Management Lead Midwife.
The publication of the NHS Long Term Plan in January 2019 committed to the transformation in specialist perinatal mental health services. Across England there is a joint work stream between the Maternity Transformation Programme and the Mental Health Programme.
The commitment of the NHS Long Term Plan is for Maternal Mental Health Services (MMHS) to address moderate to severe or complex perinatal mental health needs in every area of the country by 2023/24.
The Perinatal Mental Health workstream is led by Carly Galpin.
Most babies and children in England are healthy and well but there are significant variations and inequalities in health, education, and social outcomes with children from poorer backgrounds more likely to have poorer outcomes.
Improving prevention through individualised care pathways, with groups of women at specific or increased risk of poor outcomes, and at a population level, is key to achieving the ambitions and recommendations of Better Births and reducing inequalities in outcomes for mothers, birthing people and babies.
Northamptonshire LMNS recognises the important role that maternity care plays in supporting parents of all backgrounds to maximise their own health and wellbeing whilst also equipping parents with the skills, information, and confidence to maximise their child’s emotional, physical, and cognitive development.
The Prevention Workstream is led by Patsy Richards, Public Health Principle and it brings together the Local Authorities and all professionals working across the maternity pathways including midwives, nurses, health visitors and primary care to promote health and wellbeing for pregnant women, birthing people and their babies.
Following the publication in 2016 of the Better Births Review, the secretary of state for Health set out an ambition for maternity and neonatal services to half stillbirths, maternal, neonatal deaths, and brain injury by 2025.
To ensure safe, effective, caring, responsive and well led care on a sustainable basis, we need to employ the right staff with the right skills in the right place and at the right time. System wide forward planning, staff retention, staff support and multi disciplinary training are essential and should be considered in all transformation projects.
The Maternity Safer Staffing workstream is led by Mara Tonks, Deputy Director of Midwifery from Kettering General Hospital Foundation Trust.
The workstream provides the digital elements of the Better Births vision. Better Births recommends if we are to improve the quality of care, learning and productivity, the NHS needs to make it much easier for health professionals to collect and share data with each other and with the women/birthing people who use the service.
This new way of working requires significant change to many and impacts all areas of the pregnancy pathways including antenatal, labour and birth and all the postnatal period, across all health care providers.
The Digital Technology and Data workstream encourages collaborative working, sharing of good practice, learning from each other and working towards common solutions to barriers, across all maternity care providers.
This work stream is led by Ella Bosworth, LMNS Senior Digital, Communications & Engagement Manager.