Maternity Voices Partnerships (MVPs): co-production at local and regional level

Bromley Maternity Voices is celebrating, as our committee has been included as a case study in the new national NHS England resource pack for commissioners on how to implement the Better Births report. At first glance, the 60 page document may look heavy reading. However, embedded in the document is a 3 page chapter called “Co-Production with women and their families” which is all about hearing the voices of women who are currently or have recently used local maternity services to help shape, design and plan those services. The chapter was based on guidance written by Mary Newburn and Gillian Fletcher, both of whom have worked for the NCT and bring a wealth of knowledge about service user involvement in maternity services. As a service user representative and former chair of Bromley Maternity Voices, I was thrilled to be involved, along with a core group of tenacious women from National Maternity Voices, in commenting on and contributing to the chapter: co-production in action!

The resource pack calls for the establishment of collaborative, local, funded, Maternity Voices Partnerships (MVPs) where there is no existing MSLC and for those MVPs to be involved in developing plans at a regional level. What this means for Bromley Maternity Voices is that we will continue to work collaboratively with health care professionals and commissioners to monitor and improve maternity services in our borough and our local work will feed into and help shape the work of the new South East London Local Maternity System (which encompasses a population of 1.7 million and the boroughs of Bexley, Bromley, Greenwich, Lewisham, Lambeth and Southwark). It is envisaged that the chairs of the local existing MVPs will also sit on this regional strategic board.

Now more than ever it is important to have your voice heard, as your feedback will not only influence what happens at local level, but will also help inform work at South East London level. If you’d like to get involved in Bromley Maternity Voices there are a number of ways you can do so. You can give feedback to us, help host a coffee morning, get involved in a specific workstream that may be of interest to you, or become a committee member (we meet 6 times at year, with free childcare provision). Contact chair Hannah Lynes on bromleymslc@outlook.com for more information. We’d love to hear from you.

Implementing Better Births: a resource pack for commissioners https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/nhs-guidance-maternity-services-v1.pdf

Lisa Ramsey, Chair Reading Maternity Voices, Steve Anderson of NHS England, Laura James, NCT Practitioner and former Chair Bromley Maternity Voices, meeting at Dept of Health’s headquarters, Skipton House, to edit the resource pack in February.