Around 500 people gathered for this two day event in Leeds. As well as midwives, obstetricians, neonatologists and commissioner staff there were many MVP chairs, service user representatives and third sector colleagues. After so many online gatherings it was a delight to be able to have 1-1 conversations with people.
2 days with the Mat&Neo family have left me inspired 🙌
Our challenges are deeply rooted & shared. But our purpose, resolve, and ingenuity will prevail
— Felipe Castro Cardona (@FelipeMidwife) March 21, 2023
National Maternity Voices had a stand backing on to the plenary hall so Hannah & Louise were able to listen to the speakers on the stage and also talk to anyone who came to see us. Thanks to Harrogate MVP for lending us their banner when we forgot ours.
— National Maternity Voices (@NatMatVoicesorg) March 20, 2023
There were great presentations from Jenny Tata, Clo Abe, and Sarah Wall emphasising the value of collaborating with service users.
A powerful opening reflection from Clo Abe @fivexmore and @SussexMid who emphasised why listening to and working with women and parents is vital in providing safer, more personalised and more equitable maternity and neonatal care. #MatNeoSummit2023 pic.twitter.com/ip5vmUMmHm
— teamCNO 💙 (@teamCNO_) March 20, 2023
Kelly Phizacklea moved many to tears with her poem about neonatal experience.
Wow.. what an amazing 2 days at the NHSE #MatNeoSummit2023
I was so privileged to talk about embedding neonatal service user voice on day 1 & to share a brief insight into the experience of neonatal families on day 2@Blisscharity @NHSEngland @Doula_Lisa @phoebe_h_r @CNOEngland pic.twitter.com/yzTeW6D7Gn
— Kelly Phizacklea (@KellyPhizacklea) March 22, 2023
We heard about the new quadrumvirate system of leadership in maternity and neonatal services: midwifery, obstetric, neonatal and management leads working together at local and at national level. There was a strong emphasis on neonatal with maternity as shown in references to Maternity & Neonatal Voices Partnerships. The recently published Three Year delivery plan for maternity and neonatal services has more information.
One of the breakout sessions was a networking session for MVP chairs. There was a chance to try some co-production tools and discuss current challenges and successes. There were other sessions on listening to women, pelvic health, continuity of carer, informed choice, embedding safer care, equity plans and improving neonatal care. Some slides and output from sessions are on NHS futures here.
The second day opened with questions to Donna Ockenden and Bill Kirkup. A question about MVP funding brought this response from Donna Ockenden: ‘The work of MVPs is vital. It’s profoundly insulting if the only person around the table not paid is the service user representative….Let’s change that today.’
Donna I: Work of MVPs is vital. It's profoundly insulting if only person around the table not paid is service user representative. We've got to change this today.
Ensuring users are heard and acted upon & remunerated has to be the first tick in the box.#MatNeoSummit2023 pic.twitter.com/AJMpzoyGo0
— Emma Taylor (@EmmaHawesTaylor) March 21, 2023
The afternoon focussed on culture, improving staff relationships and demonstrating desired values (e.g. treating people as equals). Jacqui Dunkley-Bent (Chief Midwifery Officer) closed the conference reiterating the need to really hear families and support staff in order to improve.