The Maternity Voices Partnership Chair  (MVP Chair) role is a fantastic opportunity for you both personally and professionally. Not only will you be able to make a difference to maternity services, but you will be able to grow your skills and network in a supportive, friendly environment.

We are appointing one MVP Chair for each trust in Dorset – one for Dorset County Hospital and one for University Hospitals Dorset (Poole, Bournemouth and Christchurch). We want chairs who live in these communities and who have accessed maternity services provided by that trust within the last five years.

As MVP Chair, you will be the key link between our service user representatives, the NHS trust and Dorset Local Maternity and Neonatal System.

We are aware that many highly capable people may rule themselves out of this chairing role because they underestimate their own ability to do it. With this in mind, we strongly encourage applications from anyone who is prepared to learn and grow on the job and would like to stress that experience of chairing meetings is not an essential requirement.

These are volunteer roles, but you’ll receive funding for 10 hours per month at the national rate for patient voices involvement (£200 per month, £2400 per annum), plus the ability to claim expenses for travel and childcare to attend meetings if appropriate.

If you have a passion for improving maternity services in Dorset, an interest in listening to parents and families about their experiences,  knowledge and experience of using social media and email, and 10 hours month to spare then we would love to hear from you!

  • Speaking to service users about their experiences of maternity services within your trust
  • Liaising with our service user representatives to gather their feedback, and passing this on to the Maternity Voices Lead Representative (MVLR) who can escalate things where needed
  • Assisting the Maternity Voices Lead Representative with the running and moderation of our community Facebook group, and sharing information to the Dorset Maternity Voices Facebook page. We may also establish further social media channels with your help
  • Learning about the local maternity and neonatal system (LMNS) so you can have input into the development of services
  • Getting involved with pieces of work – these may be for your trust or Dorset-wide
  • Helping to coproduce information from the trust, whether it’s communications, leaflets or website content
  • Chairing a Maternity Voices Partnership meeting every other month, made up of staff and service users, with the assistance of the Maternity Voices Lead Representative
  • Helping to write our surveys and annual reports
  • Keeping up to date with national maternity-related issues and work
  • Attending occasional meetings within the maternity service if you have time
  • Being a “critical friend” to the LMNS – challenging the way things are done and helping to ensure that service user voices are at the heart of maternity services in Dorset
  • Being part of the southwest Maternity Voices Partnership network to share learning and best practice

You will have the support of Rachel Filmer, the Maternity Voices Lead Representative, while establishing each trust’s Maternity Voices Partnership and with all of your work, particularly as you learn to navigate the system. You do not need any prior knowledge of maternity services or the NHS, but a passion for improving services for all of our families is key.

Aside from scheduled meetings, this is a flexible role and your hours can be completed around your existing responsibilities.

  • Experience of maternity services in Dorset in the last five years
  • Passionate about maternity care and willing to learn about how the system works
  • Ability to be objective and to consider the needs of service users as well as those of staff and the Local Maternity and Neonatal System
  • Ability to consider and support the and experiences of staff alongside those of service users
  • Understanding the importance of confidentiality
  • Thinking creatively about how to reach a wider range of service users to fully represent our diverse demographics
  • Ability to think beyond personal views and experiences to represent the needs of all services users
  • Resilience is crucial, as you may hear distressing stories
  • Confidence to chair meetings and to challenge others in a professional way
  • Computer literate, although training can be provided in specific programs
  • Knowledge of social media
  • Experience of working with maternity service users
  • Experience of managing meetings
  • Peer support experience