Maternity Voices Partnership

Helping mums and families have their say – the Hull Maternity Voices Partnership (MVP)

2016 saw the NHS set out the Five Year Forward View for NHS Maternity services in England; Better Births. Better Births looks to deliver the NHS vision for maternity transformation, at a local level.

Better Births describes how maternity services should be co-produced with Maternity Voices Partnerships (MVPs). MVP’s bring together women and their families, commissioners, maternity teams including midwives and obstetricians, and other providers, to work as a team to develop local maternity care.

In Hull, our MVP is made up of over 40 members, including local mums, CCG commissioners, GPs, midwives and obstetricians, Local Authority leads, mental health specialists, doulas, peer supporters and representatives from the community and voluntary sector.

The aim of our MVP is to:

  • Ensure that every woman in Hull, and her family, has the opportunity to have her say about their experience of the services they have received throughout their journey from pregnancy up to the baby’s first year of life.
  • Ensure that local women and their family are involved in shaping the future of local maternity services and leading innovation through a co-production model.

Our MVP is independently chaired and co-chaired by two local mums of 2, Rachael and Melissa, whose role it is to hold our MVP to account. Rachael and Melissa independently and impartially challenge the MVP to ensure that the work undertaken by the group not only achieves the objectives of Better Births, but also makes sure that local women and families are consulted and their views represented. As our MVP Chair and Co-chairs, Rachael and Melissa continually look for assurance from MVP members that the annual work programme is delivered and report the progress of this to the CCG and the Local Maternity System.

Rachael and Melissa are incredibly important to the success of our MVP; while there will always be a consistent stream of women and their families accessing local maternity services and feeding back at various points in their antenatal and postnatal care finding women and families willing and able to contribute on a regular basis to service development can be very challenging.

To better develop our maternity services for the future we need to include the views and feedback of women and families who have recently used maternity services; through Rachael and Melissa we are able to ensure that we have authentic ‘service user’ voices at the head of our MVP – they are our finger on the pulse – but we need input and feedback from other families to ensure we are focusing on the right issues.

We would like to hear from other mums, and family members, who may be willing to get involved in the work of the MVP. If you are interested in sharing your views and experiences please contact us on 01482 344700 or by emailing HULLCCG.contactus@nhs.net

National Maternity Review, Better Births: Improving outcomes of maternity services in England, A Five Year Forward View for maternity care (2016)

2016 saw the NHS set out the Five Year Forward View for maternity care in England; Better Births: Improving outcomes of maternity services in England, A Five Year Forward View for maternity care (DH 2016). Better Births sets out a clear vision for maternity services across England.

“Our vision for maternity services across England is for them to become safer, more personalised, kinder, professional and more family friendly; where every woman has access to information to enable her to make decisions about her care; and where she and her baby can access support that is centred around their individual needs and circumstances.

And for all staff to be supported to deliver care which is women centred, working in high performing teams, in organisations which are well led and in cultures which promote innovation, continuous learning and break down organisational and professional boundaries.”

Read the full report, which sets out the NHS vision for the planning, design and safe delivery of maternity services across England, here.

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