4.19 Governance

An established Maternity Voices Partnership (MVP) will have terms of reference that have been ratified and will publish an Annual Report. This is set out in Implementing Better Births: A Resource Pack for Local Maternity Systems as follows:

“The governance should be set out in terms of reference which are agreed by the Maternity Voices Partnership and ratified by the Local Maternity System Board, and/or by relevant commissioner(s) and provider(s), so that there is a shared understanding of the role the partnership will play.”

“Each Maternity Voices Partnership should be linked to a decision-making body, to which it is accountable for the delivery of its objectives (and, where appropriate, for the spending of its budget). This may be the strategic partnership board of the Local Maternity System, or a commissioner or provider board or sub-committee. The chair should have a clearly defined mechanism for reporting to and influencing the decisions of the board.”

“The chair should produce an annual report which is submitted to the board and published. This could cover how it has achieved its objectives (and in particular how it has influenced changes to services) and what the priorities for the coming year will be.”

Having terms of reference for your MVP is one of the evidence requirements for maternity provider trusts to comply with NHS Resolution’s Clinical Negligence Scheme for Trusts Maternity Incentive Scheme.

Useful resources:

The MVP needs to ensure it handles all personal data legally and sensitively. Guidance on General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Compliance is available on the National Maternity Voices web site.

It may be helpful to agree a confidentiality policy and to ensure that all members, staff and volunteers are aware of how this is relevant to their role.

There will need to be a process for agreeing which members of the service user leadership team (e.g. Chair and Vice-chair) require Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks and to ensure they can access these. The volunteer services team in the commissioner or provider organisation should be able to help with this.