A former nurse turned regulator has been appointed to a new role to oversee maternity services across the city of Birmingham.
Bernadette Hanney has been made chair of NHS Birmingham and Solihull Integrated Care Board’s maternity services quality oversight and improvement group.
“We need to create two-way communication with families”
In her position, Ms Hanney will report to the chair of the Birmingham and Solihull local maternity and neonatal system (LMNS).
LMNS is a partnership between maternity providers, other NHS trusts, and voluntary organisations in the Birmingham area.
Ms Hanney, who is due to start her job next month, joins from the Care Quality Commission, where she was head of hospital inspection.
One of her first tasks in her new role will be to lead the development of an engagement plan on accessibility to maternity services.
“We want to provide personalised care but in order to do that we need to create two-way communication with families,” she said.
“There’s already some great work going on such as the maternity link workers who speak different languages and are able to advocate for women and guide them through their perinatal journey.
“Our maternity voices partnership is also being strengthened to ensure this is representative of the communities we serve so that we can make the most of it,” she added.
Ms Hanney has also been asked to focus on leadership and culture, recruitment and retention as well as development and succession planning.
Chair of LMNS, Lisa Stalley-Green, said: “We are delighted to have Bernadette join our team – with a 40-year career in nursing, management and regulation she brings a wealth of experience in that will be a huge asset to the quality improvement agenda.
“This role aims to ensure that quality is the golden thread running through the LMNS. Importantly, as independent chair, Bernadette is able to bring objectivity to the leadership team, questioning the status quo for the benefit of the communities we serve.”
Earlier this week, midwifery leaders called for a “laser-like focus” on the systemic issues facing NHS maternity care in England, following a damning review into failures at services in East Kent.