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These resources are to help organisations, professionals and patient and carer leaders to learn about and improve their approach to engaging with women in maternity care.

The 2016 National Maternity Review [Better Births] reports that “ Women and families, wanted services that were safe, they wanted to choose the services that were right for them and they wanted to be listened to and taken seriously.”

The review highlighted two fundamental principles - the importance of women being able to make choices about their care, and the safety of the mother and baby being paramount. Acting on this feedback and strengthening the voice of women is crucial in implementing this vision.

Here you will find resources including: Guidance and policy, webinar resources from Patient Voice South webinars, case studies and projects that provide examples of good practice, useful links and a link to maternity resources in the Patient Voice South library.

Guidance and policy 

NHS England Maternity Transformation Programme 2016
The Maternity Transformation Programme seeks to achieve the vision set out in Better Births by bringing together a wide range of organisations to lead and deliver on a number of work streams.

Better Births – the NHS National Maternity Review report 2016
Better Births, the report of the National Maternity Review was published in February 2016 and set out a clear vision for maternity services across England. Drawing on wide-ranging evidence, and in consultation with women and their families, as well as a wide range of stakeholders including NHS staff, the review published its findings in February 2016.

Spotlight on maternity
The Government has a national ambition to halve the rates of stillbirths, neonatal and maternal deaths and intrapartum brain injuries by 2030. Learn more in these guidance documents for the Sign up to safety programme: Spotlight on Maternity

Friends and family test maternity data
All Friends and family test data, including maternity data, can now be found on the NHS England Friends and family test data page. Data is updated monthly.

Running your Maternity Services Liaison Committee: A practical guide published by NCT (July 2015)
This practical guide to running a Maternity Services Liaison Committee (MSLC) provides an introduction to MSLCs, examples of good practice and approaches to resolving difficulties experienced by MSLCs and service user representatives in particular.

Listening to feedback in maternity services
This King’s Fund report (October 2016) looks at what maternity services are doing locally to collect, analyse and act on user feedback. It describes the challenges of adopting the different approaches and highlights the features of organisations that are successful in user feedback activities.

Webinar resources

Working together for Better Births
This Patient Voice South web seminar, held on January 12th 2017, was led by Sarah Fishburn (Quality Lead) and Tim Wiseman (Regional Media and Briefings Manager) from NHS England (South). The discussion focussed on how to improve the voice of women who use maternity services, and the emerging role of Sustainability and transformation plans (STPs) and Maternity services liaison committees (MSLCs). 

  • Listen to the recording (51 mins.) of the presentations and discussion between participants, all of whom are women working to improve maternity services in the south of England.
  • Take a look at Sarah Fishburn’s presentation, which summarises the nine workstreams of the national Maternity Review and progress so far.
  • Read the chatbox comments here that were recorded during the webinar around some of the discussion points and questions raised, together with useful ideas and links.

Video and audio resources

Maternity ‘trigger film’ for co-designing services 2016
A ‘trigger film’ is intended to trigger a discussion between people, families, NHS staff and commissioners about how they can work together to improve health outcomes and people’s experience. The National Institute for Health Research has funded a series of trigger films which can be used in an experience-based co-design (EBCD) process.

View film Experiences of unexpected maternity care.

Case studies and projects:

Maternity Services Liaison Committees
Local Maternity Service Liaison Committees (MSLCs) are forums for maternity service users, providers and commissioners of maternity services to come together to design services that meet the needs of local women, parents and families. They are widespread, but not universal across England.

Royal College of Midwives - Better Births Initiative
See this website for midwives and others involved in professional maternity care: includes digital resources, case studies, webinars and pilot projects.
Better Births Initiative 

NHS England Maternity Choice and Personalisation Pioneers 2016
In March 2016, Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) were invited to express their interest as Pioneers in testing ways of improving choice and personalisation for women accessing maternity services.
Read more about the Pioneers here.

Patient and public involvement in quality improvement: Best practice case studies (2015)
The London Maternity Strategic Clinical Network aims to improve maternity user experience and involvement across London. This document describes 11 case studies of improvement projects which used women’s experiences to improve services.

Useful links

Maternity Experience 
A website and campaign that seeks to:

  • Encourage and empower users of maternity services to join conversations about their experiences of maternity care 
  • Get health care professionals and local communities to listen and work in partnership with women and families to improve maternity experiences. 
  • To enable anyone to take action to improve maternity experience, however big or small, whoever you are: user, partner, community group or NHS staff.

Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire’s Maternity Voices website has a comprehensive list of national and international resources and references.

Website of National Maternity Voices (formerly MSLC Voices), the national forum for service user chairs and service user members of Maternity Service Liaison Committees (MSLCs) - run collaboratively by forum members.

Maternity library resources

More resources to help you champion patient experience and maternity care in your organisation.

Maternity library resources