The Local Maternity and Neonatal System (LMNS) is made up of everyone involved in maternity and neonatal services, including those women and families using them. Our aim is to improve both the care and experience that families have when using maternity services, so that it is safe, personalised, and based around the needs of a woman and her family.
Women and people registered with a GP within these areas are likely to receive most of their maternity care from Mid and South Essex Foundation Hospital NHS Trust – this includes maternity services provided by Southend, Basildon and Thurrock and Broomfield hospital sites. Some women, babies and families with special requirements may need or choose to travel outside this area as well.
What we want to achieve
The maternity services across mid and south Essex who are responsible for supporting and caring for both you and your baby throughout your pregnancy journey, are working together to ensure that you can access high-quality maternity care and are supported to make choices reflecting your needs.
We are working to implement the vision set out in Better Births (2016) through the national Maternity Transformation Programme. This includes the following:
Continuity of midwife carer, where you will receive most of you care from the same midwife throughout your pregnancy, during birth and then afterwards, by March 2024.
Choice and personalisation
Increasing choice and personalisation; everyone receiving maternity care in mid and south Essex should be offered a personalised care and support plan. Personalised care and support planning is a way of identifying what matters to someone and makes sure that their care reflects this. The video below explains this further.
Personalised care and support in maternity services
In the NHS, we want to provide care that meets your individual needs, circumstances and choices.
Every pregnancy is different.
Personalised care and support planning helps to build a picture of everything that might affect this pregnancy: your medical history, previous experience of pregnancy and birth and your family circumstances.
It brings this together with your views and choices so that you can be offered the best possible care. In maternity care, you can expect:
• To be recognised as the expert on what matters to you
• Your views will be listened to and valued
• Your midwife, doctor or other health care professional will share with you information on the pros and cons of different options in a way that you can understand
• You decide on the care that is best for you and your baby. Your healthcare professional will give you as much support as you want to make decisions.
Your choices will respected, recorded and followed.
• Your care will be personalised to meet your needs T
To help you get the most out of your appointments, you might want to think about what is important to you at each point of your pregnancy and prepare any questions you have beforehand.
• What are my options?
• What are the pros and cons of those options?
• What support and information do I need to make my decision?
You don’t have to decide everything at once and your views might change, especially if you get new information.
Some hospitals provide a personalised care and support planning booklet or app where you can prepare your thoughts, feeling and questions.
Pregnancy and birth are both life changing events.
We will ensure that you receive care that meets your individual needs, that you feel safe and supported with your decisions and that you are treated with dignity and respect.
Maternity and neonatal services
That maternity and neonatal services are working together to ensure at least 85% of births at less than 27 weeks of pregnancy take place in a maternity unit with a specialist neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). There is also an ambition to reduce the overall number of preterm births to from 8% to 6% nationally.
Addressing health inequalities, particularly for those from Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups and for those living in the most deprived areas is an important priority for maternity services. We want to achieve equity for these mothers and babies, to ensure everyone can expect the best health outcomes during their maternity care.
To find out more about what we are doing to address health inequalities, download our Maternity Equity and Equality Action Plan below.
Smoke free pregnancy pathways are being developed across mid and south Essex to offer support to those who need it, protecting babies from tobacco smoke is key to giving children a healthy start in life.
Perinatal mental health services
Improved access to perinatal mental health services. Perinatal mental health problems are those which occur during pregnancy or in the first year following the birth of a child. Perinatal mental illness affects up to 20% of new and expectant mums and covers a wide range of conditions.
Maternity and neonatal voices
We want maternity services across mid and south Essex to meet your needs and would encourage those using our services to follow and join our Maternity and Neonatal Voices (MNVP) Facebook page. The MNVP help shape our maternity services, and provide a voice for those using our services, to influence change and improvements locally. They also share information, provide support, and help collect feedback.
Where we are now
There has been an incredible amount of work taking place across maternity services in mid and south Essex. With nearly £2 million investment to support the recruitment of midwives and doctors, to the development of our continuity of carer midwifery teams on all three hospital sites, there is an ongoing commitment to provide the highest standards of maternity care for all.
Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
Premature and sick babies can now receive the best care possible, thanks to the opening of a state-of-the-art Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), which boasts some amazing new facilities at our Basildon site.
Maternity vaccination clinics
The provision of maternity vaccination clinics provides access within maternity to walk-in services, with expert advice and information available. The risks of COVID-19 infection during pregnancy are higher and women are considered a priority group for vaccination and we are keen to make this accessible for all.More information
Maternity Direct app
The Maternity Direct app continues to provide a great source of advice and provides a secure text chat function directly with midwives, as well as health information, a digital personalised care and support plan and an appointment reminder service.Maternity Direct app
Maternity Direct provides health promotion info and often feedback shared directly by service users regarding their maternity care.Maternity Direct Facebook group Maternity Direct getting started video