Maternity and Neonatal Voices Partnership

What is the workstream?

The LMNS supervises and oversees the Norfolk & Waveney Maternity and Neonatal Voices Partnerships (MNVPs).

MNVPs are working groups made up of teams of women, birthing people and their families, commissioners and providers (midwives and doctors) working together to review and contribute to the development of local maternity and neonatal care.

In Norfolk and Waveney, MNVPs are aligned to each of our three Acute Trusts:

  • Birth Voices East, aligned to the James Paget University Hospital Trust in Gorleston
  • QEH MNVP, aligned to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn, West Norfolk
  • Norwich MNVP, aligned to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital Trust

What are the goals/ key deliverables of the workstream?

MNVPs create and maintain an independent forum for co-production for maternity and neonatal services that places service user voice at its heart and brings together maternity and neonatal service users and staff, wider Trust leadership, commissioners and other strategic partners.

The purpose of MNVPs is twofold:

  • To seek out and listen to the voices of women and birthing people, families and carers using maternity and neonatal services from all ethnicities, backgrounds and communities within our local population.
  • To use service user experiences and insight to work creatively, respectfully and collaboratively towards solutions that are co-produced with service users and staff.

Members and the collective forum operate on the following founding five principles:

  • Work creatively, respectfully and collaboratively to co-produce solutions together.
  • Work together as equals, promoting and valuing participation. Listen to, and seek out, the voices of women, birthing people, families and carers using maternity and neonatal services, even when that voice is a whisper.
  • Use experience data and insight as evidence.
  • Understand and work with the interdependency that exists between the experience of staff and positive outcomes for women, birthing people, families and carers.
  • Advocate the pursuit of continuous quality improvement with a particular focus on closing inequality gaps.

What is the evidence/ key documents used within the workstream?

The significance of co-production and hearing the voices of the service users has been elevated with the publication of the Ockenden Report (2020/2022).  Action 2 of the Immediate and Essential actions is ‘Maternity services must ensure that women and their families are listened to with their voices heard’, (p.27), while Principle 3 of the Perinatal Quality Surveillance Model  (2021) further supports the involvement and relevance of the MVP when planning services when it states ‘There is a formal process for gathering insights from multiple partners including the LMN, neonatal ODNs, maternity clinical networks, Maternity Voices Partnership chairs CQC …..’ (p.10).

What successes have the workstream had so far?

This year the LMNS have worked with our MNVPs on:

  • Moving to Maternity and Neonatal Voices Partnerships, ensuring the experiences and participation of our neonatal service users are incorporated into our work.
  • Working with Trusts to co-produce mandatory training for staff in line with the national Core Competency Framework V2.
  • Assisting with co-production of Information leaflets
  • Developing a local learning event on bereavement and baby loss to raise awareness for staff from all disciplines.
  • The Pelvic Health project to ensure the service is accessible to women and birthing people.
  • Developing a new systemwide Personalised Care and Support Plans which are due launch by the end of the year.
  • Ensuring service user voice was a key feature of our Culture Workshop.
  • Scoping and planning our bereavement and pre-term births work.

MNVP Annual Reports