Supporting you after a distressing experience (an adverse outcome) during your maternity and/or neonatal care.

The Maternity and Neonatal Independent Senior Advocate (MNISA) service is new to South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw. Maternity and Neonatal Independent Senior Advocates are here to support women, birthing people and families to be listened to and heard after a distressing experience (an adverse outcome) during their maternity and/or neonatal care. 

We are so sorry that you’ve had a distressing experience. We hope this page has some information which might be helpful to you at this difficult time. 

If you had your maternity and/or neonatal care in South Yorkshire or Bassetlaw, your Maternity and Neonatal Independent Senior Advocate is:  

Abbey Harris

Abbey supports people who have been through a distressing experience during their maternity and/or neonatal care. She might be able to support you if: 

  • your baby died before or during labour, after more than 24 weeks of pregnancy (known as stillbirth). 

  • your baby died within 28 days of being born. 

  • The person who gave birth died. 

  • you had a hysterectomy (your womb was removed) within 6 weeks of giving birth, and you did not expect this to happen. 

  • you were cared for on the Intensive Care Unit or High Dependency Unit, and you did not expect this to happen. 

  • you were told your baby has or might have a brain injury. 

  • Whether this is something that happened recently or some time ago, Abbey might be able to help. Abbey can give you information about other services if she thinks they are better placed to help you. 

  • You don’t need to be sure that something went wrong during the care of you or your loved one to ask for support.  

  • Abbey will help make sure your voice is heard by the hospital or place involved in caring for you or your baby. She will make sure that you are supported. 

  • You don’t have to use Abbey’s service if you don’t want to, and you can stop contact with Abbey at any time without giving a reason. 

Abbey’s service is free - you do not have to pay for her support. Abbey can arrange for an interpreter if needed. 

📞 - Call or text: 07811 796494 

📧 - Email: 

You can also ask any healthcare worker involved in your maternity or neonatal care to ask Abbey about contacting you. For example - you might ask a midwife, nurse, doctor, health visitor or mental health worker.  

  • finding the best people for you to speak to about your experience. She can come to meetings with you.
  • explaining ways you can find out more about what happened during your care.
  • helping you to make sense of how hospitals might look at what happened.
  • helping you to tell someone you are unhappy about your care, and/or that you want to ask more questions.
  • finding more support for you if you need it.

Abbey can give you information about other services if she thinks they are better placed to help you.

  • It might help you to be heard and get the right support if Abbey talks about your experience with the right people. It can also help teams learn how to make things better for the future. 

  • What you choose to tell Abbey is confidential. This means she won’t share what you say to her with anyone else unless you say she can. 

  • If Abbey is worried about your safety, or someone else’s safety, she would have to tell someone what you shared with her. Even then, Abbey would talk about this with you first. 

  • Sometimes, one of Abbey’s team might help her to check if there are any messages from you that she needs to reply to. This person must follow the same rules as Abbey does around sharing your information.

A different service might be better for your needs if: 

  • Your concerns or the support you need are not related to experiencing one of the distressing events mentioned in this leaflet.  

  • You have general questions about maternity or neonatal services. 

Abbey Harris - MNISA.pngAbbey has worked in health care for a long time. She has supported patients, families, and staff members as part of her different jobs. This includes when she was a midwife and an emergency nurse. She also did jobs where she helped staff members to talk about their worries at work, and where she looked into problems in patient care. This experience will help Abbey to support you. 

Abbey understands that it is very hard to share such distressing experiences. She is always so thankful when someone feels able to trust her with their thoughts and gives her a chance to help. 

  • Abbey does not work for any of the hospitals in South Yorkshire. This means she is independent of them. Abbey works for the NHS South Yorkshire Integrated Care Board (SY ICB). They are in charge of all care which happens in your area.  

  • The MNISA role is part of a new plan across England which will run until March 2025. After this, the NHS will look at whether the plan has been helpful to those who have had distressing experiences during their maternity and/or neonatal care. 

  • If Abbey is still supporting you in March 2025, she will work out a new plan with you and her team. They will make sure you carry on getting the support you need. 

  • The plan to introduce MNISAs was put into place because of important reports (like the Ockenden Review) in some parts of England. These reports show that those who had distressing experiences in their maternity and/or neonatal care in the past were not always heard. Care did not always get better, and this needs to change. 

  • If you are unhappy with the support Abbey has provided or with the MNISA service, you can speak to someone about this or make a complaint by sending an email to: 

  • For more information, please click here.  

If Abbey is not the right person to help, you can access other support through the links below. 

Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) at the hospital trusts 

The PALS provides help, information and non-medical advice about your care and treatment. It can help you with queries, resolve concerns or make a formal complaint. 

Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust 

Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 

The Rotherham Hospital NHS Foundation Trust 

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 


Maternity and Neonatal Voices Partnership (MNVP) 

The role of the MNVP is to listen to the experiences of women and families and bring together service users and staff to plan, review and improve maternity and neonatal care. 


Doncaster and Bassetlaw 




Advocacy services 

DIAL Barnsley provide an independent, free and confidential NHS complaints advocacy service.  

In Bassetlaw, PohWER Nottinghamshire delivers information, advice, support and advocacy services. 

Voiceability Doncaster can provide you with independent advice and support. 

Absolute Advocacy Rotherham can provide you with independent advice and support. 

Sheffield Advocacy Hub can provide you with independent advice and support. 


Useful websites 

Sands is here to support anyone affected by pregnancy loss and the death of a baby to offer understanding and comfort. 

Tommy’s is dedicated to finding causes and treatments to save babies’ lives as well as providing trusted pregnancy and baby loss information and support. 

Bliss is here to support parents and families of premature or sick babies. 

Birthrights exist to protect your human rights during pregnancy and childbirth. 

Birth Trauma Association supports parents who have experienced birth trauma. 

Light Peer Support aims to provide support to families who are affected by perinatal mental health illness in Sheffield and beyond. 

PHSO is an independent body that investigates complaints about the NHS and other public organisations in England and UK. 

AvMA is a charity that provides advice and support to people affected by medical harm, such as medical errors, infections, or complications. It also campaigns for better patient safety and justice in the UK health system. 

Click here to read the MNISA privacy notice.