What are we doing?
We are trying to reduce inequalities in maternity and neonatal services, as we know that people from some ethnicities and disadvantaged backgrounds are more likely to have poorer outcomes.
This will include supporting our local maternity services to prioritise reopening any services that were suspended or reduced due to the pandemic, making sure women can take somebody with them to all appointments and supporting work to increase vaccination against Covid-19 in pregnancy.
How are we doing it?
In 2022/23 our priorities are:
Overseeing the South London Local Maternity System
Demonstrate formal and structured oversight of how the South London Local Maternity and Neonatal System (LMNS) works. We will introduce new governance arrangements so that there is a direct line of sight and open relationship between the South West London ICS and the South London LMNS Board. The South London LMNS will continue to be responsible for overseeing the quality of maternity services in South West London.
Implementing the Ockenden review actions
We are continuing to embed the seven immediate and essential actions identified in the interim Ockenden review of maternity services at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, and incorporate learning shared in the second Ockenden report (East Kent) when published.
Implementing equality action plans
We are overseeing the South London LMNS implementation of local maternity equity and equality action plans in line with national guidance. We are also working with the South London LMNS to deliver local plans for midwifery continuity of carer (MCoC) in line with Delivering midwifery continuity of carer at full scale (MCoC), prioritising MCoC so that most women from ethnic minorities and most women from the most deprived areas receive it once the building blocks are in place.
We will also make sure that every woman is offered a personalised care and support plan in line with the Personalised care and support planning guidance.
Saving Babies Lives
This year we will fully implement Saving Babies Lives, a national initiative to half the rate of stillbirths. Providers should have a preterm birth clinic so that at least 85% of women expecting to give birth at less than 27 weeks gestation are able to do so in a hospital with on-site neonatal care.
How we’re making a difference
Improving perinatal health inequalities blogs
Women and birthing people from Black, Asian, or mixed ethnic backgrounds are significantly more likely to experience poor outcomes during their maternity journey.
Between September 2021 and October 2022, Darzi Fellow Rosie Murphy undertook work in Croydon to explore these inequalities and what might be done to improve local services. Read Rosie’s reflections on her learnings and experiences during her fellowship.
If you would like to get involved in our work to transform maternity and neonatal care email us at [email protected]
Find out more about how you can get involved in our work on the Get Involved pages.