Team & Clinical Leads

Lesley White

Quality Improvement Lead - Maternity


Dr Sarah Winfield

SCN Clinical Lead for Maternity

Consultant Obstetrician with an interest in Maternal Medicine, Leeds Teaching Hospital NHS Trust.

Sarah works as a Consultant Obstetrician and is based at Leeds General Infirmary. She has a special interest in maternal medicine and runs the Obstetric Cardiac and Renal Service in this tertiary referral centre. Sarah also works with the Diabetes team and is part of the twice weekly Diabetic Antenatal Clinic at St. James’s University Hospital. She sees high risk obstetric patients for pre-pregnancy counselling and participates in the consultant on-call rota at LTHT.

Sarah is the Yorkshire and Humber Senate lead for the NHS England ‘Complex Obstetrics’ Clinical Reference Group (a merger of the previous Fetal Medicine CRG and Specialised Maternity Services CRG), which has been chosen by NHSE as the vanguard for new ‘Collaborative Commissioning’. This will be an interesting challenge, and Sarah is keen to link this with her SCN role to optimise what can be achieved to improve maternity services for women and their families in Yorkshire and Humber.

Sarah comes from Newcastle upon Tyne and completed a degree in Physiology at Leeds University before going to Medical School at Newcastle University, from where she qualified in 1998. She then completed her Obstetric training in the Northern Deanery and was appointed as a Consultant Obstetrician at The James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough in 2007, where she became the Maternal Medicine Lead in this Trust. When the opportunity arose to come back to Leeds to work, after having enjoyed living in Yorkshire while at University, Sarah was appointed as a Consultant at LGI and has been in post since January 2011.

When Sarah is not at work, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters. 


Clare Hillitt

CN Manager for Children & Young People's Mental Health and Maternity

Clare was appointed as a Clinical Network Manager in April 2013. Since April 2014 Clare has worked specifically to provide leadership and management to the Children and Young People's Mental Health and Maternity Clinical Network to drive improvements in the outcomes and experiences of women, children and their families.

Clare joined the NHS in 1981 and worked in Directorate Manager roles for 26 years in Trusts in Nuneaton, Birmingham and Sheffield.  This included seven years at Birmingham Children’s Hospital managing a range of medical and surgical specialties as well as critical care and radiology and laboratory services.  Clare’s work in Sheffield in Plastic Surgery and Burn services included managing the transfer of paediatric burn services to Sheffield Children’s NHSFT and supporting the establishment and development of the North of England Burn Network.

In 2009, Clare joined the North Trent Network of Cardiac Care as Network Director providing strategic leadership to the Cardiac Network and to the implementation of the National Stroke Strategy and development of North Trent Stroke Services. Clare is based at our Oak House office in Rotherham.


Hilary Farrow

Quality Improvement Manager

Hilary’s role involves collaborative working with commissioners, providers and other stakeholders in the development of maternity services. Her aspiration is to support colleagues to commission and provide a high quality maternity service for the women and families of Yorkshire & the Humber.

Hilary has previously worked in maternity services at York Hospital as a midwife and has experience in all areas of midwifery practice.  Her previous role as a Maternity Risk Manager and Supervisor of Midwives, involved quality assurance, clinical governance and both clinical audit and peer reviews.  As part of this role Hilary chaired the Maternity Clinical Guidelines Group, had a lead part in Maternity CNST standards and linked with other Trusts across Yorkshire & the Humber, ensuring that quality assurance and evidence-based practice was included in policies and procedures.  She was involved in cultivating improvement activities such as developing a local Maternity Dashboard at York Trust, introducing an SBAR communication tool and user experience surveys. Hilary is based at our Quarry House office in Leeds.


Anna Downward-Fletcher

Quality Improvement Lead

Anna joined the SCN in September 2014 and will be working with providers, commissioners, service users and 3rd party organisations to improve maternity services across Yorkshire and the Humber.  Anna’s current work programme is focussing on perinatal mental health.

Anna joined the NHS in 2003 working initially on improvement projects and later as a Human Resources Practitioner.  Anna has undertaken a number of improvement projects and project management roles focusing on quality improvement, compliance and governance.  In Anna’s previous role as Quality Improvement Project Manager for The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust she lead on achieving NHS Litigation Authority Standards.  Anna has lots of experience of policy development, developing and delivering training packages, developing audit tools and undertaking audits.  Anna also worked in maternity services at Rotherham for 2 years as a Project Manager working alongside obstetricians, midwives and managers to achieve the Clinical Negligence Scheme for Trusts (CNST) Maternity Clinical Risk Management Standards. Anna is based at our Oak House office in Rotherham.



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