The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

An introduction to our Local Maternity Systems

1 June 2018

Hello my name is Suzanne

I am one of three co-chairs [the other two are Anne-Marie Henshaw, Head of Midwifery, Calderdale and Huddersfield Foundation Trust; and Carol McKenna, CEO for Greater Huddersfield Clinical Commissioning Group and North Kirklees Clinical Commissioning Group] for the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership Local Maternity System Board

Over the coming months you will start to hear more about the Local Maternity Systems (LMS’s) which have been established, in line with Sustainability Transformation Partnership (STP) areas, to implement a Maternity Transformation Plan as set out in ‘Better Births’ by the end of 2020/21. 

The programme management function of the WY&H LMS transferred to the WY&H HCP from 1 April 2018. Karen Poole leads on this work supported by Sonya Ainley, our project officer. We are also recruiting for two senior midwives, a public health specialist to work on the prevention agenda, a data analyst and a business apprentice. 

In delivering the Maternity Transformation Programme the values of ‘Better Births’ need to be embedded.  These are:

  • Make safety a thread running through everything
  • Put women their partners and families at the centre of care
  • Seek to give babies the best start in life
  • Work on a multi-professional basis and across boundaries
  • Value our staff
  • Listen and build consensus
  • Share best practice
  • Learn from what does not work
  • Empower and support local change


The seven themes of Better Births are:

  • Personalised Care
  • Safer Care
  • Continuity of Carer
  • Better Postnatal and Perinatal Mental Healthcare
  • Working across boundaries
  • Multi-professional working
  • Payment system

Our vision of the WY&H LMS is to ensure women, their babies and their families can access the services they choose and need, as close to home as possible.

The role of LMS’s is to bring together providers involved in maternity and neonatal care including the ambulance service and independent midwifery practices.  It is also important that the services are co-designed with women, their partners and communities.

One of the aims is to have one system with one ambition.  Infrastructure will be put into place to support services to enable them to work together.  New approaches to commissioning services will be developed that span organisational and service boundaries. Services will be commissioned that support personalisation, safety and choice.  The LMS will be performance measured as a system rather than a place.

LMS’s across the country are at different places and will work at different paces.  However, what they will all do is provide the opportunity to do something different locally to meet the needs of their work force and people using services. A key part of this is working closely with NHS England Clinical Network.

We have made considerable progress since we developed our LMS programme – namely having people who access services at the heart of the plan we have produced. This has been seen as national good practice by NHS England. You can view our programme plan here

There is also good recognition of the excellent demonstration of partnership working, locally regionally and nationally that has been included into the work carried out with all our colleagues and stakeholders.

Naturally there are always areas where further work is needed – and ours are around finance and continuity of care, these are challenges for all LMSs across the country.

The challenge now begins as the programme moves into the implementation stage.

To find out more watch this film where Carol McKenna explains the work of our LMS in more detail.

Have a good weekend