The aim of the Bay-wide Maternity Voices Partnership (MVP) is to make sure that maternity service commissioners, NHS Morecambe Bay CCG and the local maternity services hear and take account of the views of women and families using the service.
The MVP is a forum for maternity service users and providers to come together to design services that meet the needs of local women, parents and families in the Morecambe Bay area.
Members include mums, dads, parents-to-be, grandparents, NHS doctors and midwives, and members of local community groups who provide their services and support to expectant mums and new parents and babies.
Meetings are held on a bi-monthly basis in a relaxed atmosphere to encourage people to discuss their experiences, which is invaluable in helping Morecambe Bay CCG to develop local maternity services.
Our Chair 2021/22
Kate Jones, Chair of the Bay-wide Maternity Voices Partnership
Kate Jones, a mother-of-two from Windermere, is also a perinatal yoga teacher and has trained as a doula and in hypno-birthing.
On taking over the role in summer 2021, she said that she wants to increase awareness of the MVP and grow engagement from service users and families.
“I first heard about the MVP when pregnant with my son during the pandemic. As a service user with a special interest in pregnancy and birth, I was concerned about how my choices - and those of my peers - were being affected by Covid-19 restrictions and wanted to know what I could do.
“I made contact with our wonderful former chair, Becky, and benefited from the support and advice she offered. I learned how my voice could really make a difference and was supported in a wonderful home birth, facilitated by the hard work and dedication of our local midwives.
“My passion for maternity work grows stronger by the day and I believe that the voice of a service user is invaluable in order to ensure our maternity services are, first and foremost, centred around birthing people.”
Listening to your feedback
We value your views and opinions, as these enable us to shape the future of your maternity services. By giving us your feedback we can make real change to the care mums, dads, parents to be and grandparents receive. You can read examples of changes that have taken place as a result of feedback to University Hospitals Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT) in our Annual Report.
Our work during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Between August and September 2020, the collective Maternity Voices Partnerships for Morecambe Bay, Fylde Coast, Central and Pennine Lancashire designed and distributed a survey to capture the experiences of families who had been pregnant or given birth through the COVID-19 pandemic.
You can read the report here.
The survey is still ongoing, and you can access the survey and tell us your views using this link: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/matvoices
Recently, the MVP has appointed its first-ever Maternity Diversity Champions.
Pat Jamal and Reem Gahallah Mohamed started their roles in April, and have begun to hear about the experience of maternity services across Morecambe Bay, particularly for people with different cultural backgrounds and those who may not speak English as a first language. They are leading by example, with other Maternity Voices Partnerships (MVPs) around the country now following suit and it's hoped that the network develops in order to benefit outcomes for all women and birthing people.
You can read a full news article about their work, here.
Meetings and Events
Typically, the MVP meets every two months. During the pandemic, face-to-face meetings were halted – the hope is we can start to resume in-person meetings as restrictions continue to be lifted.
Previously, we have held events in child friendly locations to encourage families to come along and give feedback. We are working hard to make sure that we reach people who may not have previously had the chance to have their say.
Next meeting: Friday 17th September 10am-12pm (More details here)
Useful websites and resources:
National maternity voices partnership (MVP) website: http://nationalmaternityvoices.org.uk/
National Maternity Review: Better Births
Better Births, the report of the National Maternity Review was published in February 2016 and set out a clear vision: for maternity services across England to become safer, more personalised, kinder, professional and more family friendly; where every woman has access to information to enable her to make decisions about her care; and where she and her baby can access support that is centred on their individual needs and circumstances. It also calls for all staff to be supported to deliver care which is women centred, working in high performing teams, in organisations which are well led and in cultures which promote innovation, continuous learning, and break down organisational and professional boundaries. More information can be found here: https://www.england.nhs.uk/mat-transformation/