National Maternity Voices Organisational Development Plan – March 2020
Association: Around 2016 a number of experienced maternity service user advocates came together to put forward a vision of how Maternity Voices Partnerships (MVPs) could facilitate the coproduction of Maternity Services at local level. This group evolved into the committee1 of National Maternity Voices (NMV). NMVs current Terms of Reference (Feb 2018) establish it as an association of current Maternity Voice Partnership chairs led by a committee of current and former MVP (or MSLC2) chairs.
The committee has evolved with some members stepping down and new people being co-opted. NMV aims to keep a current list on the Our Team page of our website.
We are conscious of the ethnic disadvantage highlighted by the MBRACCE report, and in 2019 welcomed two new members who can share lived experience and ideas for increasing diversity in MVPs. We have a geographic spread and are aiming to balance representation from the NHS regions over time. For workability committee numbers are capped at 15. It was always intended to have elections for the chair and committee positions. We have been developing a database of MVPs so that we can move to a one MVP chair one vote system for elections in the summer of 2020.
National Maternity Voices CIC
In 2019 NMV was given a block grant by NHS England to fund its work for the financial year. The committee wanted to make clear our commitment to using the funds responsibly and accountably and to limit the liability of members of the committee. We set up National Maternity Voices CIC as a community interest company with the object to ‘champion the voices of women and families in the development of maternity services in England’. This means that it is not for profit and must submit annual and other returns to Companies House which are publicly accessible online.
The directors are Hannah Lynes, Louise Griew, Laura James, Emma Taylor and Sandra Guise. The members of the company are the directors and those of the core committee of the association who have agreed to be so. Membership incurs a liability of £1 if the company is wound up and confers voting rights at a general meeting. All members of the committee whether co-opted or in future elected will be invited to be members of the CIC. Directors may be appointed by other directors or by members at a general meeting. The aim is to provide continuity amongst the 5 directors and gradually introduce fresh people. The directors will be informed by the committee and the wider MVP community in any decisions they take. The first general meeting will be held by October 2020.
Workforce: A variety of people: committee and others, have been paid for work done for NMV in 19/20 at the standard rate of £150 per day. These and others have also volunteered their time unpaid. The bulk of the work in 19/20 has been done by the officers: Hannah Lynes (Chair), Louise Griew (Administrator) and Cathy Brewster (Web). From April 20 NMV aims to expand the team to include at least one more communications person and a finance person.
 All references to the ‘committee’ here mean the core committee of National Maternity Voices Association.
 An MSLC i.e. Maternity Services Liaison Committee was a similar lay-led multidisciplinary NHS working group to the current MVPs.