1.1 What is a Maternity Voices Partnership (MVP)?

An MVP is a partnership that works to review and contribute to the development of maternity services within a local area. It brings together the staff who pay for (commission) and provide maternity services with the women, birthing people and families who use those services. The MVP is coordinated by a service user chair or leadership team, who are independent lay people. All members of the partnership take responsibility for the development and delivery of an agreed workplan.

The membership includes:

  • midwives, health visitors, doctors and managers
  • women, birthing people and families from a diverse range of backgrounds
  • members of the wider community such as birth workers and charities specialising in mental health, supporting refugees, etc.

The members work together as equals, recognising that each person brings a different set of experiences, skills and resources that will contribute to the strength of the partnership as a whole. It is intended that everyone who uses or works in NHS maternity services in England can choose to get involved in a local Maternity Voices Partnership.

“Members and the collective forum operate on the following founding five principles:

  • Work creatively, respectfully and collaboratively to co-produce solutions together.
  • Work together as equals, promoting and valuing participation. Listen to, and seek out, the voices of women, families and carers using maternity services, even when that voice is a whisper. Enabling people from diverse communities to have a voice.
  • Use experience data and insight as evidence.
  • Understand and work with the interdependency that exists between the experience of staff and positive outcomes for women, families and carers.
  • Be forensic in the pursuit of continuous quality improvement with a particular focus on closing inequality gaps.”