Mums and families at the heart of everything we do.

How were improving

We still have a lot of work to do but we have made significant improvements over the last 18 months to learn lessons and we continue to work closely with the families – who’ve been incredible - staff, stakeholders and the public, to help us to further improve.  
It’s thanks to the involvement of the families that we are transforming Maternity Services across Morecambe Bay to ensure we provide the very best services and the highest possible standards in maternity care to the women and families we serve.

Always Event

Always Events® are aspects of the care experience that are so important to patients, service users and carers that health care providers must perform them consistently for every patient, every time.
NHS England, in collaboration with Picker Institute Europe and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) have developed a co-design service user and provider framework and toolkit, for identifying, implementing and evaluating Always Events®.
UHMBT Maternity Services were identified as one of 10 pilot sites to evaluate the Always Events® toolkit.
New fathers and birthing partners are now being offered the opportunity to stay overnight with their loved ones and newborn babies, as part of the scheme being run at Furness General Hospital (FGH).
UHMBT was chosen as an ‘Always Events’ pilot site by NHS England in November 2015. The project was co-designed with those who use maternity services and frontline NHS staff to identify an area of improvement that really matters to women and families.
Since the announcement, maternity staff from across UHMBT have worked closely with the Maternity Service Liaison Committee in Morecambe Bay and service users to understand what is important to local families and what they would like to see changed in the Trust’s maternity services.
Sascha Wells, Director of Midwifery, Gynecology and Obstetrics, UHMBT, said: “When we were selected to become a pilot for Always Events, we were thrilled because it gave us another opportunity to change the way we work based on what our women and their families were telling us they wanted to see.
“Always Events are aspects of the experience that are so important to women and family members that we, as health care providers, must aim to deliver consistently for every individual, every time. Because of their very nature, ‘Always Events’ can only be developed with the service users and their families to make sure that the changes we make meet their needs and what matters to them.
“We worked really closely with our existing service user groups, the Maternity Service Liaison Committee, and attended local family groups, to talk to women and families about what they’d choose if they could have one thing all the time during their maternity care.

“There were lots of ideas and suggestions but the overwhelming theme that came through was that they wanted their partners or family member to be able to stay overnight during labour and after birth. This backed up the feedback we’d been getting as part of our Maternity Matters in Morecambe Bay public engagement events and the various other ways that we collate feedback.”
An Always Event must meet four criteria. It must be important (have a meaningful impact); be evidence-based (contribute to high quality care); be measurable (for evaluation purposes); and be affordable and sustainable.
Sally Sager, Maternity Matron, FGH, said: “Since the ‘Always Events’ project was launched at FGH on 18 April 2016, we have had around 150 births in the unit. Of these, we’ve had about 30 supporters stay over – mainly partners but some new grandmas.
“Feedback overall has been extremely positive, and partners and family members have enjoyed the opportunity to stay and learn about caring for a newborn baby, assist with baby care overnight, and support the new mum.
“Those that stayed overnight have told us that it helped both parties bond with the baby, and allowed them to take an active role in early baby care – rather than all the responsibility being on the new mum.
“We are continuing to offer this option to women and their families, and will review all the feedback we get to see if there is anything we can change to make the experience even better.”
Some of the feedback received from mums, partners and family members that have stayed overnight as part of the ‘Always Events’ project, include:

  • “I think it’s a fabulous idea as my little boy was monitored throughout the night and my partner being there was total reassurance.”
  • “Important for family bonding and for partners to support each other. Encourages the idea of equality of baby care between both mum and dad rather than too much focus on mum.”
  • “Need a bed/cot to sleep on and the ability to shower.”
  • “Felt more at ease, able to get more rest after labour.”
  • “Partners deserve as much rights as the mother.”
  • “Need better sleeping arrangements for partners.”

Sascha Wells, concluded: “Involving service users in improving our maternity services and listening to what they want is the way we do things now, and their views really do make a difference. After hearing how much local people wanted the option for partners and family members to stay overnight, we also incorporated this into our plans for the new Maternity Unit at FGH, with each one of the 14 en-suite rooms in the new unit having facilities for loved ones to stay overnight.
“There are going to be lots of opportunities in the future for us to work with local families to make sure that not only do we deliver high quality care, but that it fits with what people want.”
For more information on ‘Always Events’, visit NHS England’s website at here.

Antenatal Drop In Pregnancy Care & Grow Package

Community Midwives at Lancaster have responded to women’s comments and feedback and have increased their drop in clinic provision to include evening and weekend clinics.
Plans in progress to expand this service to include other clinics in different locations to allow them to be more accessible e.g. Sainsbury’s and a local church hall.

Bereavement Support

Our focus and drive is to provide seamless bereavement support to all parents who experience pregnancy and baby loss at any stage.
We are very privileged to be able to go out into the community to continue the care and support given within the unit.

Our involvement, particularly within the gynaecology wards, has made an immense impact to the parents and staff who work there.
We have developed nursing champions, with a similar passion, to become a focal point within gynaecology.
Across the Bay we have raised the profile of bereavement support and care and we are so very proud of all our achievements so far.

Bluebell Foundation

The Bluebell Foundation provides support in South Cumbria for people experiencing grief associated with loss during pregnancy, death of a baby, child or young person, fertility issues, a child having a life limiting or life threatening illness.
We also provide support for children and young people up to the age of 18 who are grieving through the death or anticipated death of someone important to them.
We hope to enable the families to begin to understand their grief and cope with their loss.

Cardiomyopathy and Pregnancy

On Friday 29th April 2016 UHMBT hosted a Cardiomyopathy & Pregnancy Conference.  Vincent Bamigboye (Obs & Gynae Consultant, FGH) and two midwives attended a similar conference in London. At this conference they were inspired by Angela Herdman, who tragically lost her daughter Carly to cardiomyopathy, to host a Cardiomyopathy & Pregnancy Conference in the Northwest.

Celebrating the Success of the Development & Implementation of a Newborn Hearing Screening Hybrid Model
The implementation of the Newborn Hearing Screening Hybrid Model across at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay has been one of the largest, and most challenging projects undertaken by the screening team.
However, the service has proved to be a great success with the latest Key Performance Indicators demonstrating that 99.6% of all screens are completed by 4 weeks (well babies, hospital sites), and 100% screen completion to attended assessment within 4 weeks or 44 weeks gestational age.

Clinical Strategic Partnership

The Maternity Strategic Partnership comprises University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBFT), Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CMFT) and Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (LTH).
The purpose of the Maternity Strategic Partnership is outlined below:

  • Ensuring UHMBT fully responds to and implements Recommendation 10 set out in the Report of the Morecambe Bay Investigation (“the Kirkup report”)
  • Ensuring all parties in the Strategic Partnership have a forum to plan, discuss and evaluate the progress of work undertaken through that Partnership
  • Establishing clear commissioner representation and involvement to enable the Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) to fulfil their statutory responsibilities in respect of the Kirkup report.


Clinical Quality Project

Clinical Quality is about improving the standards of clinical care provided by all health professionals as a team, who work together to ensure that women, children and patients receive the best care in the right place at the right time.

Estates Project

We aim to develop and improve our Estate to ensure a high quality environment for the delivery of patient care.
Through the recommendations of The Kirkup Report we aim to improve the physical environment of the delivery suite at Furness General Hospital. Link to new FGH maternity  build

Governance Project

The past 24 months have seen a significant review and development phase within both the structure and delivery of Clinical and Corporate Governance at the Trust.
Using the Monitor Governance Framework and key national documents, the Governance Team have systematically reviewed, developed and implemented robust methodology to ensure going forward, we can have confidence in the monitoring of the standard and quality of all the care we provide, and in the responses we make when areas of concern are identified.
A range of audit methodology and external review has underpinned the assurance of our new systems and processes and our Kirkup Governance Project was evaluated as fully compliant.
We continue to work alongside the Good Governance Institute to ensure our improvement is continuing towards excellence.

Helme Chase Midwife Led Unit

Helme Chase Maternity Unit is a fundamental part of University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay’s Maternity Services.
Our vision is to provide holistic antenatal, intrapartum and postnatal care from the first contact with the unit until discharge. With the correct information and education, we hope to encourage more low risk women to safely birth here and experience a delivery without intervention. The Grow package is the use of customised charts for the assessment of birthweight and fetal growth with the aim to reduce stillbirths.

High Fidelity Neonatal Simulation

The Neonatal Service is developing a High Fidelity Simulation Faculty with the Lancashire and South Cumbria Neonatal Network to support the provision of multidisciplinary training opportunities within our Maternity and Neonatal Services.
We have purchased a term infant and preterm infant that will enable the use of a range of resuscitation and stabilisation scenarios within our clinical environments.

Learning & Development Project

The key achievements from the project have been;

  • Clarity and consistency of mandatory training (national Core Skills Framework)
  • Essential Role-Specific training defined for Paediatric Nursing, Neo-natal Nursing, Critical Care, Midwifery, Paediatric medical and Obs & Gynae medical staff
  • Clear process for identifying Essential Role-Specific Training for roll-out
  • Robust process for monitoring and managing core skills and role-specific training through enhanced Training Management System (TMS)
  • eAppraisal system piloted
  • Listening into Action scheme to modernise core skills training
  • Leadership Development programmes
  • Preceptorship programmes
  • Paediatric and Neonatal Development activity (PANDA) study days
  • Education Governance Group established.

Maternity Appeal

Building a brand for the appeal in readiness to raise additional funds for state of the art equipment, Morecambe Bay Hospitals Charity is to launch a Maternity Appeal.
The Charity is already working to build on existing links with local communities, businesses and charities to gain support for fundraising initiatives and events; bringing everyone together for the good of the community.

Maternity Experience

Maternity Services at Morecambe Bay  work hard to gather engage with service user and gather experience feedback

  • Local UHMB patient experience questionnaire
  • Maternity Friends and Family
  • Community based Engagement sessions
  • Illustrated ‘Walls of Conversation’
  • Story telling through MSLC
  • Service user stories at key meetings
  • Debrief and ‘Listen with mother’ through supervisor of midwives.

Maternity Services Liaison Committee

Maternity Services Liaison Committee is a forum where service users work together with maternity care providers and commissioners in the development and improvement of services. Service user representatives chair the meetings, seek and listen to service user experience and are invited to take the voice of women and families into the many aspects of delivering care e.g. Guidelines Committee, RCOG Review Implementations Group and Engagement, Always Events, Better Care Together, commissioner meetings and recruitment interviews.

Midwifery Supervision UHMBT Team

Following the decision by the NMC to remove midwifery supervision from statue the team at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay have been proactive in ensuring that all those responsible for providing maternity services have an awareness of the value of midwifery supervision and that they have contributed to the consultation for the future of midwifery supervision.
This increased awareness has had an added benefit in a huge increase from all members of the multidisciplinary team and community services in referring mothers and families to the supervision birth choices and postnatal reflection and debrief services.
The team are fortunate to have the full support of the Director of Midwifery and Executive Chief Nurse that supervision will be continued following its removal from statute, and the team have been actively engaged in communications regarding the new model for supervision and have offered their services as a pilot site to trial the model once it is agreed.

Safe Active Birth

Supporting women to make individual, evidence based birth choices and supporting midwives to facilitate these choices as safely as possible.
Expert midwifery practice and service development, including:

  • Aromatherapy
  • Hypnotherapy
  • Waterbirth
  • Massage
  • Reflexology
  • Home birth
  • Midwife-led Unit
  • Bespoke, Safe Active birth plans for women with complex pregnancies.



The safeguarding team across University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay have continued to develop the safeguarding agenda across the Trust.
The team have produced two e-learning packages to cover safeguarding children and adults Level 1 and safeguarding children Level 2.
A safeguarding adult bundle and safeguarding children bundle have been developed to give staff all the information they need to safeguard children and adults anywhere within the organisation.
The Trust Safeguarding Strategy for 2016 - 2018 focuses on five areas of local and national importance.

Specialist Midwives Team

The team’s main aim is to reduce health inequalities and improve maternal and family health through early intervention.
We will be proactive in assisting the identification of women and families who have complex social or vulnerability factors which may impact on their pregnancy and parenting.
We will provide high quality care which is innovative, evidence based and cost effective.

Workforce Project

  • Improvements Recruitment and Retention
  • Review and development of Leadership structures
  • Clarification of roles and responsibilities.

At Morecambe Bay Hospitals we will provide, compassionate, high quality, evidence-based and safe maternity services that meet the needs and wishes of all women and their families.

Mums and families at the
heart of everything we do.

Contact us

Maternity Services at Furness General Hospital
01229 491 035

Maternity Services at Royal Lancaster Infirmary
01524 583 850

Helme Chase, our midwife-led Maternity Services
at Westmorland General Hospital

01539 795375