Social Media Guidelines for Maternity Voices Partnerships

Who manages social media for Maternity Voices Partnerships (MVPs)?

The chair and other service user reps (as decided locally) set up and manage social media channels.

Things to consider posting on your social media channels:
  • Information about the MVP e.g. committee/service user meetings, signposting to your website, feedback collection, future plans, and any area that service user input is needed, etc.
  • Events and surveys – local, regional and national events and surveys
  • Relevant information from MVP members and partner organisations – Trust, Clinical Commissioning Groups, Healthwatch, children’s services, local council
  • Relevant information from other MVPs across the country
  • Posts from National Maternity Voices website and social media pages
  • Regional and national NHS maternity / neonatal information such as from the Maternity Transformation Programme
  • Relevant information from recognised local and national charities 
  • Relevant awareness days/weeks
  • Any local information relevant to maternity (not businesses / for-profit)
Best practice:
  • Ensure your posts don’t go against the NICE and /or WHO Marketing on breastmilk substitute code guidelines (e.g. do not advocate home birth for women with risk factors although you can support a woman’s right to choose it. Be careful not to post anything which could be seen as promoting formula milk.)
  • Ensure all posts have a purpose and a benefit for your MVP
  • Proofread for typos, misspellings or grammatical errors
  • Pause and think before posting, but reply to any comments if needed in a timely manner
  • Always check facts, don’t presume that they are correct.
Things that should not be posted:
  • Information about businesses – even if they are offering anything free to users.
  • Political opinion 
  • Personal photos, names (unless consent has been granted)
  • Information about NHS staff (unless it is anonymous or permission has been granted).
  • Content that is not relevant to the purpose of the MVP e.g. fundraising campaigns for other organisations/individuals would not normally be appropriate.
  • Medical advice unless from trusted sources e.g. your Trust, the NHS.

Be respectful, consider how anything can be perceived and read, feel free to remove anything that has been posted by an external person if it is not relevant, or promotes businesses or people.

If in doubt, post on the MSLC and MVP Chairs and Service User Reps Facebook group.

Suggested Facebook (and other messaging apps like WhatsApp) group rules for local MVP groups:

Many MVPs have discussion groups for service users and some rules along these lines can be helpful:

  1. Be courteous and keep this a safe space for everyone

We want this group to create a welcoming environment for all service user representatives. Let’s treat everyone with respect and challenge any form of discrimination. We can disagree, and still be kind and respectful.  

  1. Respect privacy

Being part of this group requires mutual trust. Please treat all posts as confidential, and do not share any posts outside this group/without the express permission of the original poster. 

  1. No promotion or irrelevant posts

All posts must relate to the work of the MVP or maternity and neonatal services.  

  1. Be aware of MVP values

We expect members to work in the public interest. We invite you to read the purpose and values for National Maternity Voices for further information.

This is a working document; please email with any comments so we can continue to develop it to reflect best practice.

Review Date: April 2021