A Derbyshire-wide NHS initiative is reaching out to new and expectant parents to help improve maternity and neonatal services, and even to play a leading role to enact change.

Derbyshire Maternity and Neonatal Voices (DMNV) needs mothers and fathers to share their experiences, knowledge and skills so hospitals can develop services which suit the needs of parents and children.

Members of the public can join DMNV’s Facebook group, and also have the opportunity to join its committee and so work directly on improving services.

DMNV is a collaboration between NHS Derbyshire and Derby Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), University Hospitals Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust and Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

The CCG is responsible for commissioning maternity and neonatal services across Derbyshire, while the two hospitals trusts run the services directly.

Derbyshire Maternity and Neonatal Voices – services covered

Royal Derby Hospital

Maternity Unit Neonatal Unit

Community Midwifery services for South Derbyshire

Queen’s Hospital, Burton

Maternity  Unit

Neonatal Unit

Community Midwifery services

Chesterfield Royal Hospital

Chesterfield Birth Centre

Neonatal Unit

Community Midwifery services for north Derbyshire

Samuel Johnson Hospital, Lichfield

Midwife-led maternity unit


Patti Paine, UHDB’s Director of Midwifery, said she was keen to hear from new parents, because they have such immediate experience of the services: “Maternity services are absolutely vital to our community, and improving those services demands that we hear from parents who have experienced them first-hand. We need to understand better what parents have gone through, good and bad, so we can share that knowledge and us to improve.”

“At UHDB we are always trying to improve and develop our maternity and neonatal services, and the input from parents is absolutely priceless in that process. We need to hear from new mums and dads about how we can do better – and what we do well – and the MVP initiative is a really effective way of ensuring that experience has a real impact.”

Chesterfield Royal Hospital’s Deputy Head of Nursing and Midwifery, Julie Mycock, encouraged new parents to get involved to help improve the service: “We make every effort to make each birthing experience as positive for the mother and her family as possible and all of our midwives, doctors and supporting teams do their very best to make this happen.”

“Receiving feedback from Mums who have used our service is vital to understand what those needs are which is why we’re encouraging ladies who have given birth here in the last three years to talk about their experiences and get involved in this programme,” she said.

“It’s an opportunity for us to better understand the wants and needs of those who use our maternity services and give us the opportunity to explain how our midwives and the teams that support them work and how those needs can best be accommodated.”

“It’s a great idea to join together, learn from each other and help to ensure that those who have their babies here in the future continue to receive the best possible care and experience.”

Alex Albus, programme lead for maternity at NHS Derby and Derbyshire CCG, explained that the DMNV will help all those working in maternity and neonatal care, as well as other services, such as health visitors and mental health practitioners, to understand the experiences of Derbyshire families.

“We will be helping women to feed back to the maternity service where they had their baby, and providing a mechanism for NHS services to learn from each other, develop best practice and help reduce inequalities in our area,” she said.

Parents who would like to know more about MVP can attend virtual events in January, and should register their interest for the meetings using the following links:

You can also email ddccg.derbyshirematernitytransformation@nhs.net for more information.