Maternity and Neonatal Independent Senior Advocates help make sure the voices of women and families are listened to, heard and acted upon by their maternity and neonatal care teams when they have experienced an adverse outcome during their maternity and/or neonatal care. Find out more: https://www.lancashireandsouthcumbria.icb.nhs.uk/our-work/maternity-advocacy
If you have experienced a serious incident or an adverse outcome that has or may require formal investigation following maternity or neonatal care, you may be able to get support from a Maternity and Neonatal Independent Senior Advocate. Find out more: https://www.lancashireandsouthcumbria.icb.nhs.uk/our-work/maternity-advocacy
Louise Peacock is our new Maternity and Neonatal Independent Senior Advocate
helping women, and families to be listened to and heard following an adverse outcome at any time during pregnancy, birth or the days and weeks that follow. Find out more: https://www.lancashireandsouthcumbria.icb.nhs.uk/our-work/maternity-advocacy
New maternity and neonatal independent role will support families in Lancashire and South Cumbria
Women and families in Lancashire and South Cumbria can now seek the support of an advocate if something has gone wrong with their maternity or neonatal care.
The maternity and neonatal independent senior advocate will ensure the voices of women and families are listened to and acted upon by their maternity and neonatal care providers when they have experienced an adverse outcome any time during their maternity and neonatal care – recently or some time ago.
An adverse outcome is a serious incident such as:
- A baby has died before they were born.
- A baby has died in the days or weeks after they were born.
- Mum has died.
- Mum had an unplanned removal of her uterus within six weeks of giving birth.
- Mum had unplanned care in a critical care unit or an intensive care unit.
- The baby was diagnosed with a brain injury or a brain injury was suspected.
The advocate can support women, service users and families by helping them understand the maternity and neonatal healthcare system, attending follow up meetings where concerns about maternity or neonatal care are being discussed, and supporting them through investigation and complaints processes.
The advocate will initially serve those who have received care at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals and University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust.
Louise Peacock, new maternity and neonatal independent senior advocate for Lancashire and South Cumbria, said: “I am here to help you and your family to be listened to by your maternity and neonatal care teams. You do not need to be sure if there were mistakes or negligence in your or your baby’s care to ask for my support. I can attend meetings with you, as well as supporting you through investigation and complaints processes.”
Vanessa Wilson, NHS Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care Board programme director for women and children’s services, said: “Adverse outcomes in maternity care are very rare, but it is vital that families are supported through these difficult times, and that they are listened to by care providers. We are pleased to be one of the first areas in the country to have this important bespoke role in our community.”
The role was co-produced by NHS England working alongside maternity and neonatal service users and staff, following actions identified in the Ockenden review into maternity care at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust. The advocate is independent from NHS Trusts and reports to the Integrated Care Board.
Fore more information go to https://www.lancashireandsouthcumbria.icb.nhs.uk/our-work/maternity-advocacy
How can an Advocate support me?
If something went wrong in your maternity or neonatal care at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals or University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust, you can go to an advocate for help. They can even help you if this happened recently or some time ago.
Your advocate may be able to support you if you have faced any of the following:
- Your baby died before they were born and this was after 24 weeks of pregnancy.
- Your baby has died in the days or weeks after they were born.
- The baby’s mother has died.
- You had an unexpected or unplanned removal of your womb (within 6 weeks of giving birth).
- You had care in a critical care unit or an intensive care unit and this wasn’t planned.
- You baby has a brain injury or the team thought they might have.
If any of these things have happened to you or those close to you then your advocate is here for you and your family. They can:
- Help support you and your family to be listened to and heard by maternity and neonatal care teams.
- Go to meetings with you.
- Support you to understand what happened in your care.
- Support you through investigation and complaints processes.
You do not need to be sure if there were mistakes or negligence in the mother or baby’s care to ask for support. If the advocate is not the best person to support you, they will tell you about other support that is available for you.
A Maternity and Neonatal Independent Senior Advocate may not be best placed to help you if your concerns are about your birth choices rather than from something going wrong, or if you have any general questions about maternity and neonatal services.
Who is my Maternity and Neonatal Independent Senior Advocate?
The Maternity and Neonatal Independent Senior Advocate for Lancashire and South Cumbria is Louise Peacock. She has been a midwife in Cheshire and Merseyside for the last 10 years and has been a senior lecturer in midwifery. This means she really knows maternity and neonatal systems and can help you to understand them too. Louise will sit alongside you on this journey and make sure you feel listened to and heard by those who have provided your care. Everything you say to your Maternity and Neonatal Independent Senior Advocate is confidential unless you ask or agree with them to share it with others. The only exception to this is if they have a safeguarding concern about you, or your family’s welfare or if there is an overriding public interest.
How can I contact a Maternity and Neonatal Independent Senior Advocate?
Contacting advocate is free.You will not be charged for any support and if you need an interpreter one can be made available for you. You advocate by phone, email, writing to
them or by filling out the form on this QR code above. You can also ask staff in your local hospital, GP surgery or any health and care professional to get the advocate to contact you.
It is your choice whether you use a Maternity and Neonatal Independent Senior Advocate and if at any time you don’t want their service you can tell them but don’t need to give a reason why.
How is a Maternity and Neonatal Independent Senior Advocate independent?
A Maternity and Neonatal Independent Senior Advocate is independent from the trust that provided your care. They report to Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care Board, which which is responsible for directing the way care is carried out in your area.
They keep what you tell them confidential unless you ask or agree for them to share it with others. The only exception to this is if they have worries about you or your family which they will discuss with you.
What happens at the end of the pilot?
At the end of the pilot (May 2025), if your case is still ongoing, a follow up support plan will be discussed with you. As this is a pilot scheme, there are currently no alternate Maternity and Neonatal Independent Senior Advocates if you do not feel that your Advocate is the right person for you. However, if you have a complaint about your Maternity and Neonatal Independent Senior Advocate then you can contact Lancashire and South Cumbria ICB Patient Experience Team on:
Freephone: 0800 032 2424
Email: [email protected]
Or click here.