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Strengthening Service User Involvement

We are researching ways to support effective and representative service user involvement in the planning, monitoring and improvement of maternity services.

1)      Systematic review of the evidence:

We are conducting a systematic review of published literature to find out about all the different ways that women, service users and the public have been involved in planning and improving maternity services. We are particularly interested in strategies that have been used to involve people from vulnerable or marginalised groups. We are also interested in whether users’ involvement has had an impact on how maternity services have been shaped.

This review has been registered with the PROSPERO International prospective register of systematic reviews at the University of York Centre for Reviews and Dissemination:

2)      National survey of Maternity Service Liaison Committees:

To learn from national experiences of service user involvement, we have conducting a web-survey of Maternity Service Liaison Committees (MSLCs) in the UK. MSLCs are a forum for users, providers and commissioners of maternity services to come together to design services that meet the needs of local women, parents and families. Our survey sets out to find out about MSLCs across the UK and the different ways in which MSLCs involve the women and families who use maternity services.
3)      Interviews with Maternity Service Liaison Committees

From the survey findings we will select respondents from 10 different MSLCs to invite to participate in a qualitative interview. The interviews will explore how approaches to involving local women were developed and implemented, challenges and opportunities that were faced, and perspectives on the strengths and limitations of the approaches used.

4)      Resource on representative user involvement in maternity services:

We aim to develop a practical resource on how to involve women/ service users, including those from underserved or marginalised groups, in planning, monitoring and improving maternity services. The resource will be aimed at maternity service users, user representatives and providers. It will be developed from our research and will be informed by discussions at a stakeholders workshop.