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New website gives mums a voice in development of local maternity services

West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership (WY&H HCP) has launched a new website platform for teams of women and their families, commissioners and maternity staff who are working together to develop local maternity care.

Part of the NHS national Better Births strategy and the Local Maternity System (LMS) action plan,  Maternity Voices Partnerships (MVPs) are working groups that operate in the six places that make up the WY&H HCP (Bradford district and Craven; Calderdale, Harrogate, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield). People are invited to get involved by becoming volunteers to help with work such as asking for feedback at meetings, which they attend on behalf of their local MVP. All volunteers are fully supported and expenses are paid.

Carol McKenna WY&H HCP Local Maternity System Programme Lead and Chief Officer for NHS Greater Huddersfield Clinical Commissioning Group and NHS North Kirklees Clinical Commissioning Group said:

“Our vision for West Yorkshire and Harrogate Local Maternity System is to provide the highest quality care, information and advice for women, and their loved ones, throughout a pregnancy and whilst planning for a baby. Enabling people to tell us what they want and need from the service where they live is important to us and we want to create as many opportunities as possible for them to do that. We are committed to using the real-life experiences of people who use our services to make what we do even better.”

The website also has personal stories from women and their families about their experiences of maternity services in West Yorkshire and Harrogate.

WY&H HCP senior midwife Sarah Bennett said:

“Throughout the development of our LMS action plan we have worked with our Maternity Voices Partnerships groups to ensure we are responding to the needs and wishes of the women and families we care for. The LMS has supported the development of new MVPs and is delighted to have co-produced this website with them to share the wonderful work they are doing and to encourage more interaction from the women and families of West Yorkshire and Harrogate.”

The Maternity Voices Partnerships website address is www.maternityvoices.co.uk