A new partnerships bringing together health professionals and women who use maternity services in Bradford was launched on Thursday (22).
More than 80 attendees, including people from a wide range of voluntary sector groups, the three local clinical commissioning groups (NHS Bradford City, NHS Bradford Districts and NHS Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven CCGs), NHS trusts, midwives, mums and toddlers, met for the launch of the Maternity Voices Partnership (MVP) for Bradford District and Craven.
The event was organised by CNet, a community empowerment network whose aim is to give a voice to people and groups within local decision-making boards.
During the event held at the Carlisle Business Centre, Bradford South MP Judith Cummins praised the hard work that had gone into setting up the MVP.
“Maternity services are one of the most important and treasured parts of our National Health Service,” Judith said. “My two children were born in Bradford Royal Infirmary and I know first-hand how hard all the staff involved with maternity care work. Their passion and dedication is evident in everything that they do.
She added: “We must ensure that the broadest range of voices are heard when we consider how to improve our local services. Bradford’s diversity is one of its strengths, but it also requires us to think innovatively and flexibly about how care is provided. What works for one woman might not work for another.
“This means actively seeking out those who would not usually engage with groups like this. It is only by hearing their experiences and recognising their needs that we can improve services for all.”
MVPs bring together women and their families, commissioners and providers to review and contribute to the development of local maternity care.
The new Bradford and Craven MVP is relatively large, with 7,500 births per year.
Liz Firth, service user chair of the MVP said: “Our launch was a great event and it was wonderful to see so many parents join us along with professionals who care for women and their families and voluntary sector organisations.
“There was a real buzz in the room as everyone shared their ideas about how we can ensure that women’s experiences of maternity care are at the heart of everything we do and how we can continue to make the experience of having a baby in our area even better.”
Ruth Hayward, head of commissioning (women and children) at Bradford Districts and Craven CCGs said: “We are delighted to support the development of the Bradford and Craven Maternity Voices Partnership. The project offers the exciting prospect of using innovative new ways of engaging with our local communities to help us develop a better understanding of the needs of local women and their families, which will influence how our maternity services develop.
“Our hope is that the Bradford and Craven MVP will support us to deliver our local response to the requirements of Better Births, the NHS’s five year forward view for maternity services, as we work to plan and deliver the maternity services that local people want to see across Bradford Districts and Craven.”
CNet’s Laila Ahmed said: “We wanted to start conversations around maternity issues and judging by the buzz, energy and debate in the room we have a good starting point to move forward”.
For further information firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.cnet.org.uk
pictured from left to right: Zainab Naqvi, Cnet; Laila Ahmed, Cnet, Janet Ford, Cnet, Judith Cummins MP, Liz Firth, Chair of Maternity Voices Partnership and Ruth Hayward, Head of Commissioning, NHS Bradford Districts