3.11 Handling enquiries

Once your Maternity Voices Partnership (MVP) is up and running, you will start to receive enquiries. Being the contact point for the MVP is a key responsibility of the service user leadership team (e.g. Chair and Vice-chair). Enquiries may come from:

  • service users who would like to provide feedback, resolve an issue with the service or get involved in the MVP
  • health professionals or other NHS staff who would like the MVP’s involvement with a particular area of work or who would like to get involved in the MVP
  • external organisations (businesses, charities, media, etc) who would like to engage with the MVP.

At the start, the service user leadership team will need to work closely with staff members of the MVP to agree how to handle queries and to understand the boundaries of their role. For example, if someone wishes to make a complaint about the maternity service, they could be signposted to a link person in the service or to the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS). The service user leadership team will also find it helpful to know about:

  • any support services available to local women, birthing people and families, such as a listening clinic or Professional Midwifery Advocate
  • sources of information for service users such as local provider web sites.

Over time, you will develop some standard responses and processes. However, handling queries will always be a significant element of the service user leadership team role and it will be helpful to track how much time is spent on this in order to ensure it is proportionate and adequately resourced.