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Reading Maternity Voices

Reading Maternity Voices Partnership (MVP) is an NHS working group run by service users that works with the Royal Berkshire hospital to improve the local maternity service. We are funded by the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) which also funds GPs, and by Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Maternity and Neonatal System (BOB LMNS). This ensures that we are independent of the hospital and able to work without bias.

We work by listening to feedback from women and families who have used the service, and then discussing that feedback with senior staff. Our role is to be a “critical friend” to the service. By listening to you about your experiences we can really hear what needs to change locally to ensure that the service meets the needs of the families using it right now.

You can talk to us about your experience if you have received any of your care under the Royal Berkshire hospital. We cover a large geographical area from the west of Berkshire across to the east side of Reading, and Wokingham.

There has been an MVP at the Royal Berkshire hospital for a number of years, and we have worked with local families to make a number of improvements to the service, both large and small. The hugely popular homebirth team was born as a result of feedback that we gathered and discussed with staff, and one of our volunteer parent reps worked to introduce personalised caesarean births at the hospital.

We have regular meetings with senior staff, and attend some hospital meetings so that we can represent you and your family. Our chair goes to intrapartum strategy meetings where staff work on making your birth safer and better, and also clinical governance meetings with senior staff.

We also hold our own meetings with senior staff every quarter, where we discuss the results of our online surveys and feedback sessions, and agree priorities for the coming months.

In addition, our chair attends meetings at the CCG and LMNS, bringing your views and concerns to the heart of important conversations shaping the local services at a variety of levels.

We want to hear what you thought of your care, whether good or bad, and your ideas for improving the service.

You can fill in our main survey which asks about all aspects of your experience from booking in with your midwife, through your pregnancy and birth, your postnatal care in the hospital and at home, and the handover to GP and health visiting care.

We also run regular smaller surveys on specific topics raised through the general feedback, where we want to take a closer look and hear more about a particular area of care.

You can also attend one of our feedback sessions, held online or in the community, and share your views there.

Finally, you can email us and tell us what you thought of your care.

We will always keep your feedback confidential.

Details of all our surveys and feedback sessions are on our Facebook page and website

The MVP is run by a chair who is a parent who has used the service. We also have a vice chair and secretary who are also people who have given birth to their children locally.

We have a team of volunteer parent reps and you are welcome to join this team and help us in a way that best suits you:

  • Sharing your views during discussions
  • Listening to feedback
  • Helping to create surveys, or to analyse the results
  • Helping with our social media
  • Attending our parent rep meetings to decide on the agenda for our main meeting with staff
  • Spreading the word about our work

You don’t need any qualifications to join our team – just to be a parent and interested in making the local maternity service the best it can be.

Contact us for an informal chat about how you can be part of this important and exciting work.

One of our main pieces of work is looking at how to reduce the inequalities in care experienced by Black and Asian women, and women from minority ethnic groups, or considered to be living in deprived areas.

Studies have shown that if you are in one of these groups, you are likely to be experiencing poorer care, and that the outcomes for you and your baby are not as good as for those in other demographic groups.

We have been given £15,000 by the LMNS for a two-year pilot project to focus on listening to feedback from these groups, and to work with the hospital to improve outcomes for women in these communities and their babies.

If you are interested in this project and would like to be involved, or would like to share feedback about your experience as a Black or Asian woman, a woman from a minority ethnic background, or a woman from a deprived area, please get in touch. We are very keen to ensure that this work is led by people from these groups – “nothing about you, without you”.

Visit our website to find out more about what we do, or access our surveys and feedback sessions.

Follow us on facebook.com/ReadingMVP for regular updates and information, and to join our discussions about maternity care.

Email the chair to ask us any questions or share your feedback in detail.

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