“Local Maternity Systems cover a relatively large footprint and it is unlikely in most places that local women and their families will readily identify with the Local Maternity System – especially if it means travelling long distances. Instead, they are likely to identify with a maternity or midwifery unit, or a Community Hub. Local Maternity Systems need to recognise this and establish channels which work for local women and their families. In practice this will most likely mean establishing more than one Maternity Voices Partnership around smaller footprints. This will also enable service users, CCGs and/or providers to work together on issues related to the individual CCG or provider.”
There is a need for service user representation and coproduction at both provider and Local Maternity System (LMS) level. In some areas, there are provider-level MVPs that work together to jointly contribute to the work of the LMS. In other areas, LMS-wide MVPs have been set up which have provider-level partnerships. In this toolkit, we describe the work that is currently expected of MVPs. Whatever model is adopted, it needs to provide the capacity and the structure to be able to deliver this work, which includes significant provider-level scrutiny, coproduction and representation. In order to ensure that the work is sustainable and that involvement is accessible to all, both the provider-level and LMS-level work need to be fully funded and not led by volunteers.