Purpose & Values: Position statement

Our purpose is to champion the voices of women, birthing people and their families in the development of maternity services in England.  We do this by representing, supporting and networking Maternity Voices Partnerships.

Our vision is improving experiences of maternity for women, birthing people and their families, through multi-disciplinary collaboration and co-production that brings service users’ voices to the centre of planning and strategy.

A Maternity Voices Partnership (MVP) is an NHS working group of women, birthing people and their families, commissioners and maternity service staff collaborating to review and develop local maternity care. It is led by an independent lay chair who ensures service users are represented.

Our approach – five principles

MVPs operate on the following founding five principles, which National Maternity Voices endorses and upholds in its work supporting the MVPs:

  1. Work creatively, respectfully and collaboratively to co-produce solutions together as equals, promoting and valuing participation.
  2. Seek out and listen to the voices of women and birthing people, families and carers using maternity services, even when that voice is a whisper.
  3. Champion the use of service users’ experiences and insight as evidence when reviewing services.
  4. Understand and work with the interdependency that exists between the experience of staff and positive outcomes for women, birthing people, families and carers.
  5. Pursue continuous quality improvement in local maternity services with a particular focus on closing inequality gaps.


The workforce and members of National Maternity Voices are acting in a public service capacity and are expected to adhere to the Nolan principles for conduct in public life.

We are committed to

  • working in partnership with healthcare professionals and others to implement person-centred care which offers people information and care based on best available evidence, always respecting their choices.
  • diversity and equal opportunities and upholding human rights in pregnancy and childbirth
  • recognising that our members will bring with them different beliefs, values and experience. All these perspectives should be valued and respected. Members of National Maternity Voices should have an equal opportunity to contribute to discussion and decision-making processes.
  • supporting MVP chairs and MVPs generally to uphold these Values and the Five Principles

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