Maternity Voices Partnership update.

The Maternity Voices Partnership (MVP) bring together parents with experience of maternity services with staff representatives at the Leeds Teaching Hospital NHS Trust.  We regularly give feedback to help shape and co-design the maternity services offered to families in Leeds.

The MVP were part of Baby Week (2-9th November 2019). Over the past few months and within Baby Week our volunteers have been going into the maternity wards and talking to families to get feedback on their experiences of maternity services. Below is a picture of us with the Team Leader midwives after reporting back from a morning on the Antenatal ward at LGI. The response has been positive and a more thorough evaluation has been carried out following feedback from our maternity survey which can be found on our website; .



Through this we created a ‘you said we did’ breakdown of different areas you thought needed improvement. For instance ‘you said’ you felt your partner/father needed to be included more in the pregnancy – we can report that all birth partners are now allowed to stay over in the antenatal ward. ‘You said’ you wanted information to be easier to understand – we can report that the Trust now have a nominated member of staff with ‘I’m here to listen’ as a point of reference for women and families to go for any issues or concerns in each area.

The formal MVP has provided space for professionals and service users to meet and discuss important engagement in how to support fathers and birth partners in their role for breastfeeding support. The Trust has employed two Infant Feeding Coordinators who provide support covering both sites to help support women with breastfeeding.

The MVP took part in the ALWAYS event run by the Trust and the Patient Experience Team and through an engagement exercise they provided two vision statements:

  • I always expect to be offered the opportunity to have skin to skin contact with my baby for as long as I want
  • I always expect to receive consistent information about skin to skin contact with my baby

If you would like to know more about what the MVP does, visit our website or contact if you would like to join and become a parent representative.

MVP goes to EXPO!

We recently went to an exciting event in Manchester – the NHS EXPO.  Our Lucy Potter, Chair of the Maternity Voices Partnership (MVP) went along to present with her colleagues and alongside Karen Poole and Annemarie Henshaw, on ‘How to succeed at system level planning’.

Lucy (on the left in the photo) was, as always, representing the voices of those people who access the Local Maternity System (LMS) in West Yorkshire and Harrogate. It was a chance to make clear how important the MVP is as a way of hearing from those who access maternity services in our area and how it helps improve maternity care for all.  Lucy showed how the 7 MVPs have helped families not only have an input, but their experiences have helped shape the services and maternity experiences of women and other families in the region. Fantastic work Lucy!



Busy time for the Maternity Voices Partnership.

Lucy Potter who is the chair for the Maternity Voices Partnership (MVP) has been busy spreading the word of the positive partnerships between service users and the midwives at LGI and St James’s Hospitals. The MVP helps to gather feedback and implement this to help improve the experience of people who use maternity services. As part of the Maternity Transformation Plan the MVP sits inside the Local Maternity Plan for West Yorkshire and Harrogate which includes 8 MVPs chairs who meet every two months to help collaborate and share ideas including co producing the event which was held on Friday 22nd March in York.

Lucy, along with midwife Sarah Bennett, delivered their presentation about how the MVPs have helped to feed into the plan from a grassroots level by co-producing a booklet on Birthing Choices in the region. This presentation was brought to life by illustrator Tom Bailey.

Following this Sue Gibson Head of Midwifery at the Leeds Hospital Trust was invited down to the NHS Maternity and Neonatal Quality Improvement event held at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre on Monday 25 March 2019. This time Sue had been invited to present on the positive working Partnership with maternity service users and Lucy who helps represent service user Voices for Leeds had been invited too. Standing in a room packed with over 400 delegates Sue and Lucy talked about on the MVP’s work with the hospital regarding the monthly Walking the Patch where volunteers get to meet families and speak with staff. This is reflective of the recent national quality report where Leeds received an improved score compared with other national average in maternity settings.