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New group for parents gives a voice to maternity services in York

NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is helping to facilitate The York and District Maternity Voices Partnership (MVP), a public forum to create conversations which will improve maternity services.

The partnership is made up of a group of women and their families, maternity commissioners and healthcare professionals who want to actively get involved by sharing their experiences, suggestions and ideas.

Through bi-monthly events and meetings, the MVP encourages more people and independent organisations to get involved and feedback what is great about maternity services, what needs to improve and to help shape the future of maternity care.

Paula Middlebrook, the newly appointed Deputy Chief Nurse at the Vale of York CCG said: “It is essential to hear the personal experiences of those who use maternity services in York so we can work with them collaboratively to co-design and improve services. The CCG take an active role in supporting the Maternity Voices Partnership to ensure conversations are fed back into the Vale of York maternity and mental health providers.”

The most recent MVP event was held at SPARK York, a community venue chosen because of its accessibility for parents who brought along their babies and children.

“It’s essential that locations for meetings and events create a suitable environment so people feel comfortable to share information and provide feedback.”

Emily Pickard, Lay Chair of the York and District MVP said: “Anyone who has recently used maternity services in the last two years is welcome to contribute and get involved in the MVP. We would like to see more people attending our meetings and events so they can share their experiences with us and meet other parents. It’s also a great opportunity to see what support is available to new mums and dads in York.”

Also present within the partnership are representatives from York University who are conducting perinatal research; Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) mental health support service; Breastfeeding organisation Treasure Chest and the maternity service provider York Hospital.

Freya Oliver, Head of Midwifery and Nursing - Family Health, York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said: “It is extremely important as service providers for us to understand the needs of local women and families and work together to improve experiences.  We are delighted that York District MVP continues to proactively engage with local women and services to achieve this.  This will actively support local implementation of the national work towards Better Births.”

To sign up to receive the MVP newsletter and hear about upcoming events email: or alternatively visit the Facebook page @Yorkdistrictmvp


For a current project the CCG are carrying out a survey to find out more about smoking during pregnancy and the support that people may need to help quit during this time. If you would like to contribute a survey can be found at:

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