Norwich Maternity Voices Partnership

MVP Norwich – Provoking positive change for birthing couples and new families

Chair: Jackie Heffer-Cooke is a highly regarded experienced pregnancy and birth educator based in Norwich, Norfolk. She has trained with the elite in pregnancy and birth and has over 10 years’ experience working with women and couples across the county, and further afield.

MVP Support Co-ordinator: Lucy Hurrell is your first contact with the group via email or social media. Lucy works one day a week for the MVP and will assist you to either share your experience, or to get involved.

What is an MVP?

Norwich Maternity Voices Partnership (MVP) is a team of health care professionals and members of the public who meet together four times a year to discuss the maternity services in our area and to make improvements within smaller action teams.

The group consists of:

• Maternity service providers: including senior midwives, doctors, obstetricians, health visitors from the teams of the maternity units including neonatal and special care units
• Maternity commissioners: including people who allocate money between the different health needs in Norfolk & Waveney
• Maternity service representatives: including non-medical people who represent the women and families who use the maternity services (e.g. yoga teachers, doulas, charities, play groups)
• Maternity service users: including members of the general public who are pregnant or have given birth at the NNUH

We are part of a national effort to improve the experiences of parents and parents-to-be from antenatal care, birth and through to postnatal care.

What do we do?

Maternity Voices takes forward issues raised by maternity services users (mostly, parents & parents-to-be), by looking at aspects of the service in detail and making recommendations for improvements.
Service representatives, providers and commissioners then work together on putting these changes into practice.

We gather experiences from parents and parents-to-be in lots of different ways: over the phone, email, at our meetings, coffee mornings, play groups, focus groups, surveys, through social media.
For example, a hot topic for us at the moment is understanding what improvements could be made in women’s antenatal care. We are also examining the induction process in some depth to understand how we can make this experience more comfortable for the birthing mum. We are also looking at many other topics such as supporting families who have experienced mental health, baby loss and domestic abuse.

What have we been up to in the last 12 months?

• Upping the ante: Upping the Ante is a project very close to the hospitals heart, which is headed up by some key figures in our hospital. This project is looking at areas such as how well the ante-natal clinic functions, VBAC, clinically led pregnancies and births, rainbow services, multiples in pregnancy and birth, young parents and areas which affect service providers, such as staff welfare. We held a very successful focus group, led by a senior obstetrician, to gather experiences leading towards positive change.
• 15 steps to maternity: ‘15 steps to Maternity’ involved a selection of the public visiting the different maternity wards, to walk around each area and provide first hand impressions and feedback on what their observations were. This provided impartial findings that we wouldn’t normally receive.
• Improving inductions: An ‘Induction Focus Group’ was held by our MVP chair where we received feedback from 15 woman about their induction experience at the NNUH in the last 12 months, provoking discussion and hopeful service improvements.
• Young Mums: ‘Mums Rock’ was an event we held to gather opinions from younger mums, ensuring younger mums voices were being listened to, and responded to.

All of the information that we gather from these activities all help towards our goal – to improve the Maternity Services within our local hospital.

What have we got planned?

We will be working in groups to promote and provoke real change in the following areas:
• Upping the Ante
• Baby loss
• Homebirths
• Improving Induction

We welcome anyone who would like to get involved with giving feedback, positive or negative. You can help improve our local maternity systems, and contribute to the ongoing health and wellbeing of our local women, and their babies.

You can take a look at our latest report 

How can I get involved?

Contact us with your experiences and ideas to or contact us via our Facebook page: