In support of NHS England’s National Maternity Review, we have created the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Local Maternity System Board. The Board’s vision for maternity services is to improve safety for mum and baby, for services to be tailored for individual people, to improve choice and for care to be family friendly. We believe every woman and her partner should have information to help them to make decisions about care, and every woman and baby should be able to receive support that is focused on their needs and circumstances.
We also believe that all staff working in maternity care should be supported to deliver care which is women centred. They should work in high performing teams and in organisations which are well led. They should work in teams that promote innovation, continuous learning, and break down organisational and professional boundaries.
Through a network of support coordinated by the Maternity Transformation Programme, there are some 'early adopters' taking forward the implementation of the vision in Better Births. The experiences of the Early Adopters will pave the way for national roll-out of initiatives that deliver safer, more personalised care for all women and every baby, improve outcomes, and reduce inequalities. Click here to view some examples from across England.
West Yorkshire and Harrogate Local Maternity Services (LMS) will provide the highest quality care, information and advice for women, and their loved ones, throughout a pregnancy and whilst planning for a baby.
LMS will strive to be the first choice when it comes to receiving maternity care and giving birth by offering women options and treating them as individuals. We will be supportive and reassuring – never judgemental.
We will listen to, and work closely with, women and their families to make sure they experience care that is safe, responsive and respectful to their needs and wishes throughout the pregnancy and birth.
Our nationally recognised maternity services will attract and retain a highly effective workforce that will be well led, innovative and will continuously learn.
To achieve this we will be:
- Developing a local vision for improved maternity services in order to ensure that there is access to services for women and their babies, regardless of where they live
- Ensuring women and their babies can access seamlessly the right care, in the right place at the right time
- Making sure that providers such as NHS hospitals and other health services in West Yorkshire and Harrogate work together so that the needs of women and families are prioritised
- Putting in place necessary processes to make sure services work together effectively
- Making sure that women, partners and families are involved in designing maternity services
- Supporting a learning culture between NHS staff, partners and fostering workforce co-ordination and training.
A lot of work on improving maternity services has already taken place in Leeds, you can read more about this on NHS Leeds South and East Clinical Commissioning Group's website.
Leanne has type 1 diabetes. She already had a two year-old son, when she was pregnant with her daughter Charlotte. She feels the care she received was much better second time around, thanks to efforts to provide more personalised care.
In her first pregnancy, whilst she had a named midwife but rarely had contact with her. By contrast during her second pregnancy, her named midwife Cathy regularly visited her at her home and took time to understand her story and her history of diabetes. Leanne says managing her condition during pregnancy was difficult but having her midwife’s support helped her feel less isolated.
At 34 weeks, Leanne had been experiencing frequent episodes of hypoglycaemia and was concerned. She texted Cathy, who replied quickly, advising her to go to the Maternity Assessment unit. It was established Leanne was at risk of placenta failure and she was delivered by caesarean section. Leanne feels this quick response helped save her daughter’s life.
Cathy, Diabetes Midwife, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
As part of Leeds Maternity Strategy, information has been produced to help support women, including those with learning disabilities, through their pregnancy
For Cathy, these have been invaluable in helping her support women often with very complex needs. The resources include information on what to expect from maternity care, birth plans and screening the unborn baby for medical conditions, all in easy read formats.
The team use these as part of a streamlined approach which involves as much preparation as possible in advance of each woman’s first appointment, for example through team huddles to share information. Cathy says a strong team approach is crucial to make sure they can meet the woman’s individual needs and provide safe care.
Read the summary of our maternity plan here: