NMV’s response to CQC’s Maternity Report

National Maternity Voices’ response to the Care Quality Commission’s report, “Safety, Equity and Engagement in Maternity Services

We welcome the focus that this CQC report brings to the role of Maternity Voices Partnerships in promoting safer and more equitable maternity services. 

Maternity Voices Partnerships have huge potential to drive improvement in maternity services, by bringing together service users from diverse ethnic and social backgrounds to work collaboratively with staff who commission and provide the service.

By getting involved in the Maternity Voices Partnership, a service user can move from being a passive recipient of care to an active participant making changes for their family and the wider community.

As the Care Quality Commission has identified, there is variation around the country in the support and engagement that MVPs receive from the NHS. For the potential of MVPs to be fully realised, there is a need for:

  • Consistent and appropriate resourcing

MVP chairs are passionate about improving maternity services and act as a critical friend of their local  service. Most are mothers of young children and need payment in order to spend the time needed to undertake the role effectively. To ensure these roles are accessible to all, it’s vital that payments are reliable, regular and reflect the amount of work required for the role. We regularly hear from MVP chairs who are struggling to continue as these conditions are not in place. MVPs need to be resourced to be able to effectively reach out to all service users in their community, especially those who tend to experience poorer outcomes and who may experience barriers to getting their voice heard.

  • Support and engagement from NHS staff 

Effective MVPs are a partnership between staff and service users working together as equals. There is considerable variation in the level of staff engagement with MVPs. Where staff are fully engaged, we see service improvement and action to reduce inequality in response to service user feedback. Staff need clear expectations for their involvement, sufficient time to participate and access to relevant training.

  • National coordination and support 

National Maternity Voices provides vital networking, support and representation for (and by) MVP service user chairs, including a peer support group for chairs from Black, Asian, and other Minority Ethnic backgrounds. We have been pleased to support CQC’s investigation of the role of MVPs in improving equity in maternity services.  We look forward to supporting MVP chairs to participate in the coproduction of local maternity equity plans.  

NMV is a  small community interest company with ambitions to ensure that the voices of diverse service users are consistently influential in the development of safer maternity care. If you share this vision, please consider supporting our work.

  • You can support our work by donating here.
  • You can find out more about working with us here.
  • You can find your MVP here.

NMV in the Health and Wellbeing Alliance

National Maternity Voices (NMV) is pleased to announce that we are part of the Maternity Consortium led by Tommy’s and Sands, alongside the Pregnancy and Baby Charities Network (PBCN) and community organisations: Five X More CIC, Muslim Women’s Network UK and LGBT Mummies Tribe. The Consortium is one of the 18 Voluntary Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) groups that have been selected to be part of the Health and Wellbeing Alliance (HWA) Continue reading “NMV in the Health and Wellbeing Alliance”

Maternity & Neonatal Service User Voice Summit: 11 March 2021

National Maternity Voices (NMV) and NHS England and Improvement (NHSE/I) co-hosted the Maternity & Neonatal Service User Voice Summit on Thursday 11 March 2021. The event was held virtually on Teams to showcase some of the amazing work Maternity Voices Partnerships (MVPs) chairs and Service User Voice (SUV) reps have led or been involved in, in the last year, locally, regionally, and nationally. Continue reading “Maternity & Neonatal Service User Voice Summit: 11 March 2021”

National Maternity Voices CIC Report for April 2019 – March 2020

From our early beginning in December 2016, the National Maternity Voices (NMV) has come a very long away. And despite the challenges of this year, unforeseen at our first service user event user event earlier in March, we are thankful that we have been able to continue working towards our objectives. Continue reading “National Maternity Voices CIC Report for April 2019 – March 2020”

The experiences and benefits of doula involvement with MVPs

In a session with Doula UK, recorded for the Let’s Talk Birth Conference in August 2020, Saima Kara explores aspects of the involvement of doulas with Maternity Voices Partnerships (MVPs) with some MVP lay members, and some of the adjustments MVPs have made during Covid-19. Continue reading “The experiences and benefits of doula involvement with MVPs”

Co-creation Summit

Coventry 10th May 2019

If you know anything about Maternity Voices Partnerships, you will know that co-production (also known as co-creation) is their bread and butter – that is: involving people that use maternity services in the design, development and evaluation of those services. Then it will be no surprise that lots of MVP chairs were in attendance at the Co-creating welfare Summit that took place in Coventry last month. Here is a round up of the event from some of the National Maternity Voices committee who were lucky enough to be in the room! Continue reading “Co-creation Summit”