Safety and Quality Oversight Group

What are the key goals of the Safety and Quality Oversight Group?

The Norfolk and Waveney LMNS Safety and Quality Oversight Group provides the mechanism through which quality is overseen in line with the perinatal quality surveillance model (PQSM).

The NHS long term plan (2019) and NHS planning and contracting guidance 2020/21 described a set of consistent operating and governance arrangements to be put in place by 2021/22 (NHSE/I 2020).  This model of quality oversight in the NHS will see the Integrated Care Systems (ICS) having an oversight of quality surveillance, planning and improvement accountable to NHS England and NHS improvement teams. 

The Local Maternity and Neonatal System (LMNS) delivers the maternity transformation agenda from the National Maternity Review (2016) and the Better Birth Agenda.  The LMNS programme team are now hosted by the Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care Board (ICB).

To support system oversight and delivery of the programme, processes are managed and governed within Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care Board (ICB) structures in order to develop and deliver a robust and cohesive forward plan to transform services in line with the Better Birth ambitions.

In addition, each of the Trusts represented within the LMNS has its own governance structure in place which also have N&W ICB oversight and an ICB Board.  The Ockenden Report (2021) requires that ‘Safety in maternity units across England must be strengthened by increasing partnerships between Trusts and within local networks.’ The LMNS must have greater oversight and has been given ‘greater responsibility, accountability and responsibility so that they can ensure the maternity services they represent provide safe services for all who access them’.

The LMNS Safety and Oversight Group will provide the LMNS Programme board with the oversight of quality surveillance across the Norfolk and Waveney system to:

  • Ensure that quality and safety is central to system planning, decision-making and delivery.
  • Provide assurance that trust level safety intelligence has been reviewed in line with the PQSM, CNST, and the Three-Year delivery plan for maternity and neonatal services.  Taking timely and proportionate action to address any concerns identified building this into local transformation plans with the onus on trusts to share the responsibility of making improvements.
  • Routinely and systematically share and triangulate intelligence, insight and learning, to establish a shared view of risks to quality and patient safety. This will inform the LMNS board appetite to quality risks and assist in the prioritisation of quality improvement work and the defined level to which any risk needs to be mitigated.
  • Support a psychologically safe and healthy culture for quality management within the LMNS, which is based on transparency, open sharing of information and learning, and collective ownership of actions and issues. It will test new ideas, share learning and celebrate best practice.
  • Ensure oversight of performance through the receipt of dashboards and reports on changes in the operating environment, including in respect of national policy or regulatory requirements, which impact upon the LMNS.
  • Ensure the identification and management of risks associated with the LMNS and raise with the LMNS programme board.
  • Review serious incident trends and themes to add scrutiny and debate across the ICS and ensure Local Learning Events reflect the themes, as required by the Three-Year delivery plan for maternity and neonatal services.  
  • Work collaboratively to drive system wide quality improvement, improved outcomes for maternity, improved access and to reduce inequalities.

In addition there is also a monthly LMNS/Trusts’ incident meeting which reviews incidents from the previous month, exploring themes and trends from deep dives and monitoring acions as required.   

What is the evidence/ key documents used within the workstream?