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Christmas spirit brings maternity communities together

14 December 2017

NHS maternity services, voluntary support groups and local families across Cheshire and Merseyside came together for a recent event to celebrate the launch of ‘Maternity Voices’.

Hosted at Liverpool Central Library by the Improving Me Women’s and Children’s Services Partnership, the event shone a light on maternity support available to families across the region, and aimed to encourage wider collaboration between different organisations and services.

This collaboration will be driven by new Maternity Voices groups – teams of health care professionals, commissioners and members of the public working together to improve experiences for families accessing maternity services – which have now been established across Cheshire and Merseyside.

Catherine McClennan, Programme Director for Improving Me, said: “I’m delighted that we have been able to launch Maternity Voices. This will ensure that families can have their voices heard throughout the maternity system and really be involved in a meaningful way.

“We had a great turn out and a really diverse audience, which highlights just how important it is that everyone can have their say. Our next step is to work closely with our maternity partners to drive this momentum at a local level.

“I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who joined us on the day.”

In addition to its focus on partnership working, the event also included powerful stories from local women about their maternity experiences, a performance by local poet Terry Caffrey and a visit from Santa Claus himself, who delighted attendees with gifts of books for children – generously donated by the library.

Danielle Gillett, a mum from Southport who shared her maternity story at the launch event, said: “Events like this are great to show parents how to get involved in ensuring maternity services are designed around them. Maternity Voices partnerships are brilliant forums to enable your voice to be heard to professionals at the heart of local maternity care. I thoroughly enjoyed the day, I hope my story helps others tell theirs and gives them the courage to get involved too.”

Councillor Wendy Simon, Liverpool Assistant Mayor and Cabinet Member responsible for libraries, said: “Events like this are incredibly important in order to give women and their families the support and advice they need, and I’m delighted the event was held in the beautiful surroundings of Central Library.

“It was a great turn out and we hope to host similar events in the future.”

What is Maternity Voices?

Maternity Voices Partnerships (MVPs) are an innovative development based on an updating of Maternity Services Liaison Committees (MSLCs) within providers of NHS maternity services.

Maternity Voices groups take forward issues raised by maternity service users by looking at aspects of the service in detail and making recommendations for improvements. Service users, providers and commissioners then work together on putting these into practice.

What is Improving Me?

Improving Me is a partnership of 27 NHS organisations across Cheshire and Merseyside aiming to improve the experiences of women and children. The Partnership is one of NHS England’s Vanguard New Care Model initiatives.

To get involved or to find out more about Cheshire and Merseyside Maternity Voices contact info@improvingme.org.uk

To find out more about Improving Me visit www.ImprovingMe.org.uk

Follow Improving Me @ImprovingMe1 / Facebook.com/ImprovingMe1