All members joining the Maternity & Neonatal Voices Partnership (MVP or MNVP) need clear information about the purpose of the group and what is expected of them. Your local MVP may have developed an induction pack, or you can look at section 3.2 of the MVP toolkit Introductory information for members . You may also find these documents helpful: Diagram of how MVPs fit into the NHS , Jargon buster
Becoming a Service User Representative
If you are a new user rep, remember your experience and perspective as a service user and your local connections with parents are what matters most of all. It is vital that MVPs hear from a wide variety of people and everyone is able to speak or be represented.
Any expenses you incur when attending MVP meetings e.g. for travel and parking, will normally be reimbursed. Check with the MVP chair/lead or administrator how to claim these.
You can look at the Get Involved section of the NHS England website for more information on how people and communities can help the NHS to improve all aspects of health care, including patient safety, patient experience and health outcomes. See our training and events page for more information about training and development.
- You may feel motivated to read around relevant subjects, or have very limited time. Pace yourself and do what you feel able to, but not more.
Peer support for MVP members
It can be a great help to talk to other MVP members in your area and in other parts of the country. Service users can connect with other service users and with supportive clinicians and commissioners.
Ask the MVP chair/lead for an invite to social media groups related to the local MVP or Local Maternity and Neonatal System (LMNS). You may also consider joining national groups (see the NMV groups page). All MVP members including staff and charity workers are welcome to join the multidisciplinary National Maternity Voices Facebook group.
- If you find yourself over-committed and stressed, setting boundaries on your activity can help. Agree with the people you are working with what you can and can’t do, and when.
Local reports and reviews
There are likely to be a range of local documents that may interest you and be relevant to your work:
- Information provided by the local NHS trust to women and families, on their website, on social media and in posters and leaflets
- Care Quality Commission local review reports
- Surveys of maternity and neonatal services
- Guidelines for clinical care in your unit, or local network of provider units.
Maternity and children’s services information
Information about maternity, women’s health, public health and child health is available from many sources! Some useful national reference material is listed below:
- Better Births Report of the National Maternity Review (2016)
- Ockenden and East Kent reports
- Three year Delivery Plan for Maternity and Neonatal services (2023)
- CQC Maternity survey (national and local results available)
- Websites of Healthwatch, NHS England, NICE, National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit (e.g. Birthplace in England and MBRRACE reports)
- Child and maternal health data and intelligence: a guide for health professionals
Many MVP members benefit from involvement in co-production activities in service development and research. It can increase your skills and confidence and provide new experiences and responsibilities to note on your CV. Some service user reps go on to lead their local MVP and/or get involved as regional or national representatives. Others go on to staff roles in the NHS.