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Maternity Champions | Maternity and Neonatal Voices Partnership

A message from Helen Carr, Maternity and Neonatal Voices Partnership Lead:

My name is Helen Carr and I am the Maternity and Neonatal Voices Partnership Lead for Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.

I work within the Maternity Transformation Programme and my main aim is to recruit maternity champions who are all volunteers and between us, we engage with women and their families to gather feedback on their experiences to help to shape the future of local maternity services.

What is the Maternity and Neonatal Voices Partnership? (MVP)

In 2015 a national review was carried out into maternity services. The review report, Better Births was published in 2016.  In response to the report and its recommendations, NHS England advised that Local Maternity and Neonatal Systems (LMNS’s) should be established.

The MVP is one of 5 projects sitting within the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Maternity Transformation Programme.

This MVP’s focus is to gather feedback from women and families around their experiences of using maternity services and help shape the future of the service. Contributions will allow the opportunity for services to be co-designed and co-produced by women and their families and healthcare professionals.

What is a Maternity Champion and what do they need to do?

Maternity Champions are volunteers who are asked to collect information from various sources at various forums.  This could be parent and toddler groups, children’s centres, libraries, leisure centres, antenatal clinics out in the community and in the hospital and postnatal wards. It would also be useful to know if local families are choosing services outside of the Staffordshire and Stoke area and their reasons for this. During the pandemic whilst we have not been able to access face to face groups, we have relied heavily on social media to gather feedback.

Feedback will include experiences (positive and negative) from the beginning of pregnancy and beyond birth. There will be some particular subjects that will require feedback. For example, the use of digital notes.

The way a Maternity Champion provides feedback can be in a variety of ways. Feedback can be presented at the Maternity Champion Meetings or can be sent in via email for the team to feedback. The aim is to gather as much feedback from those people using the services and informing those who provide the services. The MVP Lead will then present quarterly feedback reports to the Local Maternity and Neonatal Partnership Board and the MVP meetings alongside a “you said, we did report”

There are 23 localities across the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent area so we are hoping to recruit 23 Maternity Champions to work in their own area. This will cut down on travelling time and means the champion will know their own area and the best places to visit to get the feedback. Travel expenses will be paid and will need to be recorded and submitted in a timely manner.

We are keen to hear from everyone, dads and partners included and we gather feedback on experiences that service users have had whilst using maternity services. National guidance not only refers to COVID in maternity services, it is more about reducing inequities.

I am really keen to hear from seldom heard groups and those that may not have access to social media platforms and although I am still home working in the next month or so I am hoping that we will be able to travel to groups that may make things a little easier to communicate, engage and promote the MVP.

Contact the Project Support Officer/MVP Lead – Helen Carr: 07928 525377

Email: [email protected]

Join our Maternity Voices Partnership closed Facebook group (you will be asked to answer three simple membership questions).

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