Harrogate Maternity Voices Partnership

Harrogate Maternity Voices Partnership (MVP) is a friendly group of volunteers and professionals that work together to gather information from maternity service users in our area to shape and develop local maternity services.
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What is Maternity Voices Partnership (MVP)?

Across the UK, Maternity Voices Partnerships (MVPs) exist to give new parents and their families the opportunity to give feedback about their care during pregnancy and birth, and postnatally.

The aim is for everyone receiving maternity care to be given the opportunity to have their voice heard and their feedback considered by service providers.

MVPs work actively with maternity services in their area to ensure the views and experiences of families form a key part of deciding how care is delivered.

How does it work in the Harrogate area?

Harrogate Maternity Voices Partnership brings together new parents and their families with professionals providing maternity services and support in the Harrogate district. Parents have the opportunity to give their views through regular surveys, or simply by providing feedback during or after their pregnancy and birth.

The committee of volunteers is led by Jen Baldry, a former teacher whose three children were born at Harrogate District Hospital. The rest of the team includes other parents who have experienced maternity care, as well as hospital consultants and midwives, independent midwives, doulas, breastfeeding peer supporters, postnatal specialists and more.

Jen and her team if dedicated volunteers are working to build links between everyone involved in maternity services in the Harrogate area to ensure the MVP plays an active and effective role.

Jen said: “It has been fantastic to begin speaking to maternity service providers and to hear from the many parents who have been through pregnancy and birth in the Harrogate area.

“Whatever their backgrounds and reasons for speaking to the MVP, everyone has the same aim: to ensure maternity services are the best they can be so parents can have the most positive experience possible. I am really excited about the work we can do together and the difference we can make in the future.”

What’s next for Harrogate MVP?

Regular meetings are now being held to discuss how the MVP can be as effective as possible. There has been a huge amount of interest since Jen took the reins and the group became active again following the covid pandemic.

Meetings are currently being held virtually, both during the working day and on an evening, to enable as many people as possible to take part. Jenny and the volunteers are also helping to revise some of the information shared with families to ensure it is as clear and useful as possible.

Among the initial focuses for the group are the birthing environment in hospital, the use of language to support families in different circumstances, and the mental health impact of pregnancy, childbirth and postnatal care. Work is also being done to ensure families have a way to find the right support for their needs, such as help with breastfeeding or postnatal health concerns.

Over the coming months, more topics will be covered, each led by group members and using feedback received from families in the Harrogate area.

How to get involved

To get in touch with Jen, email harrogatemvpchair@gmail.com

You can also follow Harrogate MVP on social media to hear about its work and opportunities to give feedback, complete surveys, or get involved in other ways. Search for Harrogate Maternity Voices Partnership on Instagram, and look for its page on Facebook under the same name. Information is shared regularly on both accounts. There is also a Facebook group for anyone who wants to be a volunteer in the Harrogate MVP.

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