Working together for better births

The South Yorkshire Local Maternity and Neonatal System programme team is part of NHS South Yorkshire. We work with partners and NHS trusts across the region to improve these services for women, birthing people, their babies, and families. This includes five maternity units based in Barnsley, Bassetlaw, Doncaster, Rotherham, and Sheffield.

Our vision is for maternity services across South Yorkshire to become safer, more personalised, kinder, and more family friendly; where every woman or birthing person has access to information to help them to make decisions about their care; and where they and their baby can access support that is centred on their individual needs and circumstances.

“My labour was induced; I had experienced this before with my first baby so knew what to expect. Even still, my midwives were amazing, explaining each thing that was happening and making sure that I was OK during it.”

South Yorkshire service user

In May 2023 the national three-year maternity delivery plan was launched by NHS England. As an LMNS, our work is centred around the delivery plan, and we work with all four maternity units in South Yorkshire to help them deliver on these actions. You can read the delivery plan here.

Improving care for all – Equity and Equality action plan

In September 2022 we wrote our five-year equity and equality action plan. This sets out how we will improve equity for mothers and babies. The plan focuses on improving services for those from Black, Asian, Mixed and minority ethnic backgrounds, those living in the most deprived areas and those that we know are more likely to have poorer experiences of the healthcare system. We will also aim to improve equity and equality for the staff working across our services.

This plan will be reviewed and updated every year to show how we are doing this and include any new or updated information. You can read our five-year equity and equality action plan here.

Support during COVID-19

We are working hard to ensure that pregnant women and families from Black Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds in our region are aware of the support available to them during the pandemic.

These actions are important because:

  • The UKOSS study showed that 55% of pregnant women admitted to hospital with COVID-19 were from a BAME background.  Black pregnant women are 8 times more likely to be admitted to hospital and Asian women 4 times more likely.  This is not explained by a higher incidence in the big cities with higher BAME populations.
  • The MBRRACE-UK rapid review showed that 7 of the 8 women who died as a result of COVID-19 were BAME.  The recommendations of the review included that trusts implement the 4 actions set out in the letter.

The four key actions we are working towards are:

  1. Increasing support of at-risk pregnant women – e.g. making sure clinicians have a lower threshold to review, admit and consider multidisciplinary escalation in women from a BAME background.
  2. Reaching out and reassuring pregnant BAME women through tailored communications.
  3. Ensuring hospitals discuss vitamins, supplements and nutrition in pregnancy with all women. Women low in vitamin D may be more vulnerable to coronavirus so women with darker skin or those who always cover their skin when outside may be at particular risk of vitamin D insufficiency and should consider taking a daily supplement of vitamin D all year.
  4. Ensuring all providers record on maternity information systems the ethnicity of every woman, as well as other risk factors, such as living in a deprived area (postcode), co-morbidities, BMI and aged 35 years or over, to identify those most at risk of poor outcomes.

We are working aross the South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw system to ensure that organisations working closely with pregant women from BAME groups know the NHS remains here - and ready to help - through offering the best possible care. 

ICON - Babies Cry, You Can COPE

In 2021, we started supporting the ICON programme across South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw, promoting safe care and handling of newborn babies - educating parents about babies crying - and normalising this so that babies are not shaken (which can cause seizures, blindness and disability).

Find out more about how we're involved in South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw.

Useful documents

South Yorkshire & Bassetlaw LMNS

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Healthier Together

A new website created with healthcare professionals across the region to support parents, families and carers with how to treat or find common childhood illnesses. 

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