Members of Herefordshire and Worcestershire Local Maternity and Neonatal System (LMNS) said a huge thank you and a sad farewell to Chair Christobel Hargraves at their Board meeting today, prior to her stepping down from the role at the end of the month.
Christobel, who has chaired the LMNS Board since its inception in 2017, has overseen the development of the LMNS Plan and a number of service improvements which are further enhancing the quality and safety of maternity care, choice and personalisation of services for families across Herefordshire and Worcestershire.
This has included the continuing growth of the Continuity of Carer model of care, the development of the birthways.nhs.uk website signposting new mums to information and advice, the implementation of joint safety huddles across the two counties, and the launch of neonatal outreach services – and all the while ensuring the views of service users are listened to thanks to the growing involvement of Herefordshire and Worcestershire Maternity Voices Partnerships’.
Dr Louise Bramble will take up the role as LMNS Chair from on 1st April 2021. Dr Bramble is a practising GP at Chaddesley Corbett Surgery in Worcestershire and elected governing body GP lead (Wyre Forest) at NHS Herefordshire and Worcestershire Clinical Commissioning Group.
Matthew Hopkins, Senior Responsible Officer for the LMNS, said: “The success of the LMNS to date owes much to Chris who has shown true commitment to the development of integrated maternity and neonatal care across our two counties, and ensuring the voice of service users is well and truly heard. I know that all partners working as part of the LMNS are grateful for the opportunities that this strong partnership working has to offer to our maternity and neonatal services as well as the benefits it can bring to our service users and our staff.”
Fay Baillie, LMNS Project Director, said: “It has been an absolute pleasure working with Christobel over the past 4 years and her leadership, knowledge, and expertise will be greatly missed. She has been a passionate advocate for mums, babies and families across our two counties and the LMNS has achieved much under her thoughtful and careful stewardship – including through what has been a period of considerable challenge for everyone in health and social care over the last 12 months.
“We all wish Christobel the very best in the future, in her continued role as a Non-Executive Director at Wye Valley NHS Trust.”
Christobel said: “It has been a privilege to serve the community of Herefordshire and Worcestershire as chair of the LMNS for the past four years. When I took up the role, one of the things I was particularly keen on was to ensure that mothers’ voices were heard more and that they became part of the way maternity services were transformed. I do believe that that this is the case but the journey continues. The achievements of the Board have been as a result of the dedicated work of all who provide care to mothers and babies and I wish Dr Bramble and the Board well in the future.”