AHSN NENC support the launch of new regional maternity website for expectant parents and health professionals

Parents-to-be and maternity healthcare professionals across the North of England can now access up-to-date information and resources on a newly launched website.

The Academic Health Science Network for the North East and North Cumbria has worked closely with the Local Maternity Systems (LMS) Northern England partnership to develop its new website, which offers advice and guidance for parents to support them during pregnancy, birth and postnatally. Covering everything from information on gestational diabetes to labour advice, and post-natal health and wellbeing support to practical tips for caring for newborns, the website acts as a one-stop shop for all things related to their pregnancy journey.


The Local Maternity Systems (LMS) Northern England website features a dedicated area for healthcare professionals, which includes access to key information around the aims, objectives and deliverables of the LMS, as well as useful resources. A Learning Hub is due to be launched soon, which will provide an opportunity for healthcare professionals to access a full range of training courses dedicated to supporting those working across maternity care.


The website was developed by experts across the region involved in the LMS Northern England partnership. Bringing together maternity providers, commissioners, Maternity Voices Partnerships and clinical networks, the partnership is a collaboration between three Local Maternity Systems across the North – Northumberland, Tyne and Wear and Durham; Darlington, Teesside, Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby; and West, North and East Cumbria.


Providing joined-up high quality, safe and personalised care to women, babies and families is at the heart of the LMS’s work and the new website further strengthens its commitment ensuring women feel educated and supported to make informed choices about their maternity care.


The website links to the Pregnancy and Birth Choices app which provides key information and advice to help women make decisions about their birth from trusted NHS source, all in one place, and right at their fingertips.


Pregnant women can also gain free access to all features in the award-winning Smoke Free App via the LMS website. The premium element of the Smokefree app includes an automated chatbot ‘Quit Coach’ and real time access to stop smoking counsellors.


Parent Sarah Wall, a Northumberland, Tyne and Wear and Durham LMS lay representative advocating the views of Maternity Voices Partnerships, said: “The parents’ choices during pregnancy and birth is the most important factor regarding the maternity care a family receives. The website brings together information from across our region to help parents make those choices. Many parents don’t realise that they can choose where to have their baby including different hospitals or at home.  The ‘Birth Choices App’, which is linked to the site, is fantastic as it goes through all the differences between those maternity care and birthing options. I would definitely recommend anyone who is pregnant to have a look at it.”


Kathryn Hardy, Local Maternity Systems Programme Lead, said: “The development of the LMS website enables easy access to up-to-date information regarding pregnancy services across the region. It is a fantastic resource for everyone to use and we welcome feedback so we can constantly improve our service.”


Andy Beeby, Medical Director, Consultant Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust, said: “I’m delighted about the launch of the LMS website – it’s a great place to bring together all the key information for our health care professionals into one place and further reinforce our aim to work together to improve care for the women across the region.”


Suzanne Thompson, Clinical Network Manager (Maternity and Perinatal Mental Health), Northern England Clinical Networks, commented: “It’s fantastic that the three Local Maternity Systems (LMSs) now have a way of sharing what they do across the North East and North Cumbria with staff and the public.  The Maternity Network team will continue to collaborate closely with the LMSs and support them in further developing the site as a rich resource for those want to improving maternity and perinatal mental health care.”


Vicci McGurk, Local Maternity System Programme Manager, added: “We developed this website as a tri-LMS collaboration with the purpose to inform and engage all our stakeholders, demonstrate the impact of Northern England Local Maternity Systems, celebrate our added value and improvements in outcomes and experience of care.”


Nicola Jackson, Programme Lead, West, North and East Cumbria Local Maternity System, said: “On this site you can find information about services local to you, general pregnancy and birth advice, and information on more specialist services including post-natal mental health services. If you are a professional, you can find information about local courses and training.”


The development of the LMS Northern England website was supported by the Academic Health Science Network for the North East and North Cumbria.

To find out more, visit: http://www.northernlms.org/