What are Maternity Voices?

Maternity Voices is an initiative that aims to involve women and their families in the development of local maternity services. We want Dorset’s maternity service to be the best it can be, which means that it must meet the needs of those using the service. Women and their partners must be shown that their voices and experiences matter.

Dorset’s Maternity Voices Lead Representative is Rachel Filmer. She goes out into the community to speak to women and their partners about their experiences of maternity care in Dorset. She then represents that feedback in meetings with clinical and organisational staff, in an attempt to constantly improve the service and address any reported issues. She is also involved in specific pieces of work, such as the development of this website and the design of care pathways.

Maternity Voices Representatives

Rachel Filmer
Rachel lives in Poole with her husband and their twin boys. After a long NICU stay with her twins, she has a special interest in support for parents of premature babies and those with additional needs, but is passionate about equal access to high quality maternity services for all Dorset residents.

Job/volunteering vacancies

Are you passionate about maternity services in Dorset? Then consider becoming a Maternity Voices volunteer to be more involved with shaping these services.

This 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 looking for people who have used maternity services in the last five years, or supported a family to do so (eg. breastfeeding peer supporters,  antenatal educators, doulas etc.) or those who work for related charitable organisations.

The roles that we are currently advertising for are voluntary – expenses can be claimed for travel and childcare. The Partnership Chair role has funding for 10 hours per month.

See more information about both roles by clicking on the buttons below.

Service User Representatives
Maternity Voices Partnership Chairs

Successful candidates will be supported by our Lead Maternity Voices Representative. People will be given all the information and support needed. In return, you will gain valuable experience, and develop your skills and CV.

These roles are an important part of the Maternity Voices Partnerships within Dorset. There are two trusts providing maternity services in Dorset which are:

  • University Hospitals Dorset in East Dorset (Poole, Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals)
  • Dorset County Hospital in West Dorset

These two trusts work in partnership with Dorset CCG, Dorset HealthCare and other organisations to make up the local Maternity and Neonatal System (LMNS). The Maternity Voices Partnerships will play a key role in the LMNS, ensuring that the voices of those using maternity services and their families are heard.

We want to ensure that the Maternity Voices Partnership for each area reflect the diverse communities accessing maternity services. We want our services to meet the needs of all.  We therefore encourage applications from everyone, including black, Asian and ethnic minority families, as well as those with disabilities, those from the LGBTQ community, carers, those living in deprived communities, younger and older parents… we welcome applications from everyone, and we want your voice to be heard.

If you have any questions, please talk to Rachel Filmer, our Lead Representative at maternityvoicesdorset@gmail.com.

Applications will close on 31 October 2021.

How can I contribute?

  • We hold regular stakeholder events where you can learn about changes to the service and get involved in decisions about the future of maternity care in Dorset.

  • If you would like to give feedback to your local Maternity Voices Lead Representative, or get involved in future events or gathering feedback, you can contact Rachel at maternityvoicesdorset@gmail.com

  • Tell us about your views of local maternity services on our Facebook page and engage with view seeking activities or surveys.

  • Keep an eye on this page for any current online surveys to complete about any recent experiences you have had using local maternity services.

  • We may also attend existing local groups to engage and hear your stories and experiences.

  • Focus groups will be advertised when we are looking to reshape or change services so the voice of parent’s and families co-design services. These will be advertised on our Facebook page and Facebook group or via email.

  • This online survey enables Dorset Maternity Voices to catch anonymous feedback from service users experience as they access local maternity care. Please note this is not a formal complaint procedure and if you wish to make a formal complaint please go back to your care provider.

Maternity Voices feedback