2.4 Providing a budget for the Maternity Voices Partnership (MVP)

Before you start appointing your service user leadership team (e.g. Chair and Vice-chair), you will need to put together a budget for your MVP and to determine where this funding will come from. Examples of MVP budgets and business cases are available on the National Maternity Voices web site.

We’d like to link to some examples of current budgets/business cases here. Does your MVP have current examples that are working well in your locality? If you’d be happy for this to be shared here, please contribute via this form. Please say if you would prefer your resource to be anonymised. Thank you.

There is wide variation in the level of budget allocated to MVPs in England. Generally speaking, better resourced MVPs are more able to engage with a diverse range of service users and a wider range of staff and projects. More resources typically translates into more effective co-production of beneficial change.

In setting a budget for your MVP, it may be helpful to consider:

  • The number of maternity units/services covered – correspondingly more resource will be required if you are effectively paying for the work of 2 or more MVPs.
  • How well established an MVP is – work will build over time as the MVP proves its value.
  • To what extent administration, training and support for outreach is included or supplied separately by the Local Maternity System or provider.
  • The level of deprivation and/or need for specific outreach to priority groups 
  • The geographic area covered – large rural areas may need more to enable travel. 

“A Maternity Voices Partnership should have a defined programme of work and be adequately resourced. …

Funding may be required for: 

  • Remunerating the chair (for both chairing the partnership and, where relevant, representing the Maternity Voices Partnership at Local Maternity System level). It is best practice for the chair to be remunerated to reflect the skills, experience and time commitment required for the role. 
  • Providing the secretariat. 
  • Paying the expenses of the service user members, including childcare costs. 
  • Training for service user members. 
  • Intelligence gathering to support the work of the Maternity Voices Partnership. 
  • Commissioning research. 
  • Communications activities, including engagement and outreach.” 

Implementing Better Births: a Resource Pack for Local Maternity Systems

Since the above guidance was published in 2017 it has become increasingly common to have other remunerated service user roles in addition to the chair/co-chairs, e.g. vice-chair, secretary, equity lead, social media coordinator.

In addition to the above, the London Clinical Network has proposed that funding is provided for an annual development day at which priorities for the coming year are agreed (Effective co-production through local Maternity Voices Partnerships (MVPs) A resource for commissioners).