The Maternity Voices Partnership (MVP) for Morecambe Bay has announced a new Chair for 2021/22.
Kate Jones, 34, from Windermere, takes over the role from outgoing Chair Becky Knagg, which will see her developing, leading and representing the Bay-wide partnership throughout the year.
The mother-of-two, who is also a perinatal yoga teacher and has trained as a doula and in hypno-birthing, said that she wants to increase awareness of the MVP and grow engagement from service users and families.
She said: “I first heard about the MVP when pregnant with my son during the pandemic. As a service user with a special interest in pregnancy and birth, I was concerned about how my choices - and those of my peers - were being affected by Covid-19 restrictions and wanted to know what I could do.
“I made contact with our wonderful former chair, Becky, and benefited from the support and advice she offered. I learned how my voice could really make a difference and was supported in a wonderful home birth, facilitated by the hard work and dedication of our local midwives.
“My passion for maternity work grows stronger by the day and I believe that the voice of a service user is invaluable in order to ensure our maternity services are, first and foremost, centred around women and birthing people.”
The MVP is a forum 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 in the Morecambe Bay area.
Members include mums, dads, parents-to-be, grandparents, NHS doctors and midwives, and members of local community groups who provide their services and support to expectant mums and new parents and babies.
Meetings are held on a bi-monthly basis in a relaxed atmosphere to encourage people to discuss their experiences, which is invaluable in helping Morecambe Bay CCG to develop local maternity services.
Mrs Jones continued: “To me, the MVP is about being heard. We're here to listen to your experience, to signpost and provide support. We work closely with our maternity services to ensure that you're getting the best care, continually striving to improve your perinatal experience with the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust.
“In the coming months, I will be focusing on how we can best make your MVP work for you.
“We invite all women and birthing people to get in touch and help us work collaboratively together. If you've used our maternity services, or you'd like to help wave the MVP banner by doing something as simple as chatting with your local baby group, then we'd love to hear from you.”
For more information about the Maternity Voices Partnership, phone 01524 519379 or email baywideMVP@morecambebayccg.nhs.uk.
You can also follow the MVP on Twitter @BayVoices or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/baywidemvp and the Morecambe Bay Maternity Voices public group.