After nearly three years of remote working, it was wonderful to be in a room with dozens of other people interested in how service users can influence maternity and neonatal services.
Many people had been at the previous MVP unconference in March 2020 but many more had never met national colleagues face to face before.
There was a large contingent of MVP chairs and local service user reps, several national and regional service user reps, and many NHSE staff including a team from NHS Horizons facilitating the event. As is often the case some people were wearing a few different hats including our own Emma Taylor (pictured left with Louise, Zenab and Hannah).
The event was opened by Phoebe Robinson, the NHS England Director whose remit includes Maternity and Neonatal. Zenab Barry (who has recently become a director of NMV) spoke about our human need to connect with others.
There was a creative buzz as people discussed and then pitched sessions to fill the 30 slots on the agenda. Some topics attracted 15 or more people and many productive discussions took place. The law of 2 feet applied so a few sessions did not happen as insufficient people turned up, while others were merged as similar topics were competing. All the sessions were documented in a shared online form. NMV is working with the maternity transformation team to ensure the learning is made available and actions are followed up.
We finished by reflecting on how we would follow up on the day in action circles. A rousing speech from Emma Taylor highlighted the passion and drive we bring to our work.
Anyone with access to the maternity transformation workspace can see slides and output from the event on NHS Futures here.