March update: What is happening with local maternity services?

Monday 11th March 2019

Following the independent review of hospital services, published in May last year, we have been working together as partners to further understand the recommendations made, what they may mean for our services and how we can work together in new and different ways to strengthen our ability to provide safe and high quality care to patients across Barnsley, Bassetlaw, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield.

Maternity services were one of the five services reviewed across the region and we have recently received a number of questions which we would like to clarify.

Professor Des Breen, medical director for the South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Integrated Care System said:

“As organisations responsible for delivering health and care services, we are working together in new and more joined up ways to deliver the best health and care for patients across South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw. We have some excellent services in our region and we want them to continue being the safest and highest quality, now and in the future. Along with all of the NHS, we will benefit from our share of the extra £20bn funding announced by the Government last year and our focus is on designing local services to meet people’s needs, not cutting them.”

On maternity services:

 “Recommendations from an independent review of hospital services told us that maternity and children’s services should continue at all our hospitals. It said pregnant women needed more choice and that services could be improved by working even more closely together. Reducing the number of units would only be considered if new ways of working didn’t help and we are committed to providing services in every town and city in the region. If there were any proposals to change, we would first consult with patients, the public and members of staff before making any decisions.

“To help us strengthen services without changing them, we’ve recently developed ‘hosted networks.’ Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust is taking the lead for paediatric services and The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust is doing the same for maternity. As a host, this doesn’t mean they will provide services on behalf of others but they will work together with the other hospitals to better plan how all services can be made sustainable, with equal access across the region.

“The review of hospital services is a small part of the ICS work, with our greatest focus being on improving services where people live and in their communities.”

 On personalised maternity care budgets and privatisation:

“We want our local services to meet the recommendations laid out in the national report, Better Births, which calls for maternity services to provide more personalised care, increased safety and choice and access to specialist support. We want all pregnant women in South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw to receive the best possible care, regardless of where in the region they live.

 “Personalised maternity care budgets are about offering women more choice and will allow all pregnant women the choice over where they receive care for every part of their maternity journey (in line with NICE guidelines). Women will only be able to use their budgets to access NHS commissioned maternity services that meet NHS safety, quality and clinical standards. They will not be able to use them to ‘buy’ private maternity care or independent care from anyone who is not directly commissioned by the NHS.”

On being an Integrated Care System:

“Being an Integrated Care System is an opportunity to work together better to deliver the best care for patients – wrapping support, care and services around people as individuals, removing organisational barriers and putting the needs of people and patients first. There are a number of initiatives beginning to take place and we strive to keep you as updated and involved in the journey as possible”

If you have any further questions about our review of hospital services or work as an Integrated Care System, please see: www.healthandcaretogethersyb.co.uk or get in touch via helloworkingtogether@nhs.net

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