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Patient safety

The Local Maternity and Neonatal System (LMNS) is responsible for gaining assurance that local maternity services are providing safe, quality care. The LMNS takes a proactive approach to learning from incidents and sharing lessons across maternity providers.

To gain a full picture of safety, the LMNS brings together information and insight from different places including complaints and patient feedback.

The LMNS will support maternity providers to make improvements where necessary. Read more about some of the key elements to the patient safety work below.

Safety System Improvement Group

The LMNS Safety System Improvement Group is a monthly meeting where maternity providers share their learning from incidents that have occurred.


Read more about the Ockenden Report and the seven immediate and essential actions that need to be taken by all maternity providers to improve safety in maternity services.

Read more

Clinical Negligence Scheme for trusts

Learn more about the Maternity Incentive Scheme (NHS Resolution) that supports the delivery of safer maternity care through an incentive element to maternity provider contributions to the Clinical Negligence Scheme. There are ten safety actions.


Read more

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and adult social care in England. They make sure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care and they encourage services to improve. They monitor and inspect services and publish what they find. Where they find poor care, they will use their powers to take action.

The LMNS works collaboratively with regional and national teams to support any maternity providers who need to improve their services.

Click here to read the CQCs report ‘Safety, equity and engagement in maternity services’.

The CQC website has a handy search tool to enable women, birthing people, and their families to look up and compare services. You can access this tool by clicking here.

The LMNS recently visited all maternity providers to gain an understanding of compliance with the Ockenden actions. For 2023, a series of maternity assurance visits are being planned to look at wider elements of maternity services. They will not duplicate any work and will be tailored to individual trusts based on data and insight the LMNS has about their services.

Identifying areas for quality improvement is a key part of the LMNSs work. Regular events are organised to bring people together to learn and share their work. The topics at the event reflect the themes from the Safety System Improvement Group meetings. Our last event held in May 2023 focused on stillbirths and transitional care. If you work in maternity and neonatal services and want to be added to the mailing list to be invited to future events, please email

In line with the NHS Long term Workforce plan (2023) the LMNS is developing a Maternity and Neonatal Workforce Strategy which intends to:


Increase the number of higher education places, including developing the Maternity Support Worker (MSW) workforce, with an aspiration to increase the numbers of MSW accessing apprenticeship schemes.

Introduce training for all maternity staff by utilising the nationally designed ‘Core Competency Framework’ to reduce variation of care and competency of assessment. This will ensure that training to address significant areas of harm are included as minimum core requirements and standardised for every maternity and neonatal unit.

Develop ‘Safe Clinical Learning Environment Charter for Trusts’ to support our students experience when learning.


Utilising Ockenden funding, every maternity provider has a ‘Retention Midwife’ offering improved pastoral support and care. Early career midwives have access to robust preceptorship programmes and midwives at all stages of their career will have access to mentoring to continue to develop. Midwives at the end of their careers will be given opportunities to work flexibly and make it easier for professionals who have left to come back to the profession.


Ensure our staff not only have technical ability, but the compassion and kindness to provide care safely and effectively in partnership with women and pregnant people.

Everyone working in the NHS should feel safe and confident to speak up. Every maternity provider will have a Freedom to Speak Up Guardian to give independent support and advice to staff who want to raise a concern. The national Freedom to Speak Up policy provides a minimum standard to help normalise speaking up for the benefit of patients and staff. Its aim is to ensure all matters raised are captured and considered appropriately.

The LMNS will be arranging a series of face-to-face visits to maternity providers to enable staff working in maternity and neonatal services the chance to give feedback or raise concerns if they have any.

An important role of the LMNS is to bring together insight from different sources to build a view of the quality and safety on each maternity unit. This insight includes formal and informal feedback from staff working in local services.

If you work in maternity or neonatal services and have any concerns, we encourage you to contact your local Freedom to Speak Up Guardian in the first instance. The LMNS can be contacted if needed via

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