National Maternity Voices Purpose & Values

This redraft was discussed at the AGM on 27th November 2023 and reviewed at NMV council. The definition of an MVP has been revised following the publication of guidance from NHS England.

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

Our vision is improving experiences of maternity and neonatal services 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 and Neonatal Voices Partnership (MVP or MNVP) ‘listens to the experiences of women and families, and brings together service users, staff and other stakeholders to plan, review and improve maternity and neonatal care’ (from MNVP guidance). It is led by a service user who acts as a critical friend and helps bring service users’ voices to the heart of decision-making. This lead person is preferably both independent (not otherwise employed by the NHS) and lay (not trained as a doctor, nurse or midwife).

Our approach – founding principles

National Maternity Voices upholds these principles in its work: 

  • Work together creatively and collaboratively. 
  • Seek out and listen to service users, especially those who experience poorer outcomes.
  • Champion the use of service user feedback and insight as evidence.
  • Promote the centring of service user perspectives when policy decisions are taken. 
  • Highlight how staff experience affects service users.
  • Always seek to improve care, especially to reduce inequity.
  • Work to the Nolan principles for conduct in public life, declaring any possible conflicts of interest.


The workforce and members of National Maternity Voices CIC agree that:

  • People bring different beliefs and experiences – all should be considered.
  • Everyone should have an equal chance to participate and influence decisions.
  • Women/birthing people have a right to make decisions about what happens to their bodies.
  • Care should be person centred and based on the best available evidence.

Download the original version of National Maternity Voices Purpose and Values as a PDF (214 kb)