Local Maternity Systems provide the leadership and deliver the action to make local transformation happen.
In February 2016, Better Births set out the Five Year Forward View for NHS Maternity Services in England. The strategy set out a compelling view of what maternity services should look like in the future.
‘The vision was clear: we should work together across organisational boundaries in larger place based systems to provide a service that is kind, professional and safe, offering women informed choice and a better experience by personalising their care’. Implementing Better Births, A Resource pack for Local Maternity Systems (2017)
Better Births recognised that it’s vision could only be delivered through transformation that is locally led and so Local Maternity Systems were set up across England to provide local leadership and action.
Local Maternity Systems are a partnership of maternity providers, commissioners, Maternity Voices Partnerships and clinical networks working together to transform maternity services and improve quality.
Changes to how the Local Maternity Systems work across the North East and North Cumbria
Up until the 31 March 2021 there have been three local maternity systems across the North East and North Cumbria which were based on the Sustainability Transformation Partnership footprints. These were:
- Darlington, Teesside, Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby LMS
- Northumberland, Tyne and Wear and Durham LMS
- West North East Cumbria LMS
The three LMS have been led by a Senior Responsible Officer, received their own financial allocation and held Board meetings in their own right.
On the 1 April 2021, we received notification from the national maternity transformation team that we will now be funded as one LMS across the North East and North Cumbria ICS for 2021/22. In practice, we have always worked very closely together, taking a partnership approach to achieve maternity transformation, so we welcome this decision to further strengthen our resilience, collaboration and learning.
Collectively, the area we cover is coterminous with the Integrated Care System (ICS) in the North East and North Cumbria where NHS organisations, in partnership with local councils and others, take collective responsibility for managing resources, delivering NHS standards, and improving the health of the population they serve.