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Emma Taylor

Parent Rep and Regional Service User Voice Rep

I joined the MVP because the then-chair asked me to!

I was running a baby and toddler group at the time and she came to gather feedback from parents. I had never heard of the MVP before (it was called an MSLC at that time) but we chatted and before I knew it I had agreed to go along to an MVP meeting at the hospital with my six-month-old son, because I was keen to improve women's experiences with the maternity team. That was seven years ago in 2015 and I loved the work so much I took on the role of vice chair in 2016 and then became chair in 2018. I have also held roles nationally with NHS England and what was then Public Health England, representing women and families in discussions around maternity care, and in 2021 I became the service user voice and MVP network lead for the NHS England South East Maternity Transformation Programme (the NHS does seem to love a long title).

I enjoy being part of the MNVP (as it is now known) because we truly make a difference. During my time with the MNVP I have seen the creation of the Homebirth Team which I would have so loved to have been in existence when I had both of mine at home, and of the Induction of Labour Suite, and the revamp and launch of Rushey Midwife-led Unit, as well as the creation of the Twins' Suite. The MNVP has also successfully introduced personalised Caesarean birth into both culture and practice at the RBH, and we worked incredibly hard over the Covid lockdown and pandemic (my hours tripled!) to raise up women's and families' voices and advocate for you in discussions around important issues such as partners being allowed into scans and visiting on postnatal wards, by working with our professional members at both Trust and Local Maternity and Neonatal System level.

The parent members of the MNVP are respected and valued by the professionals - our voices are listened to and we work together as equals and colleagues. And because the MNVP is led by a service-user chair (currently me) this ensures that YOU are the heart of every important decision and discussion.

I attend all kinds of meetings on your behalf, taking your experiences and opinions to them and ensuring your needs and wants are considered. At the hospital I go to Intrapartum Strategy meetings when the main staff in the maternity unit discuss ways to improve care, and to Clinical Governance when final decisions are made and signed off. Plus we hold our own meetings which are well attended by parents, staff and other stakeholders such as Health Visiting. At LMNS level I go to meetings looking at Serious Incidents that have been reported, Equity meetings which seek to ensure all members of our community are being sought out and listened to, and to the LMNS Board meetings.

I would never have imagined that improving maternity care would become my passion and main work, but I am so glad to have joined the MNVP. It is the most fulfilling and enjoyable thing I have ever done.

Emma Taylor
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