NCT VOICES – helping you make the most of user involvement in maternity services


NCT VOICES development days promote effective patient-public engagement and multidisciplinary working in maternity services. Service users, health professionals and commissioners are supported to work together to embed the user voice in the development, improvement and quality of local maternity systems, via Maternity Voices Partnerships (MVPs) and Maternity Services Liaison Committees (MSLCs). 

NCT VOICES is a bespoke service tailored to local needs, whether whether your group is newly launched or longstanding. Events can be run for multidisciplinary groups or user reps only, and our facilitators will travel to a venue of your choice. For multidisciplinary days, service users, midwives, doctors, commissioners, Healthwatch and other health professionals and community organisations are all welcome to attend. 

We supply an audit tool and schedule preliminary talks with key personnel on your MVP/ MSLC to establish what your team wants to achieve. 

NCT VOICES are led by highly experienced facilitators with extensive service user experience. Our aim is to drive positive change within local maternity services and promote team building and collaboration. NCT VOICES days are informal, friendly and interactive – as well as having a clear set of aims and objectives to help participants to: 

  • understand the roles, responsibilities and restrictions affecting different members of the group
  • develop strategies to improve the effectiveness of multidisciplinary partnerships
  • identify key opportunities for influencing service developments, achieve positive change and celebrate success
  • review progress and explore challenges, and
  • focus on creating or refining an annual plan of work.

What do participants say about NCT VOICES?

Feedback is very positive.

  • 97% of participants rate NCT VOICES as either ‘Excellent’ or ‘Good’.
  • 94% are ‘extremely likely or ‘likely‘ to recommend NCT VOICES to others.

“The facilitator was clearly expert in this field and provided lots of examples of what worked in other areas.”

– MSLC member

“I would like to see other MSLCs benefit from this positive experience. Through discussion, ideas and examples this has positively influenced my role and the recognition of joint aims.”

- Commissioning & Service Improvement Manager
  • All participants reported that their knowledge of the benefits of multidisciplinary working had improved.
  • 97% said they had improved knowledge of ways to raise the profile of their MVP/ MSLC within the local NHS and the community.
  • 97% said that the workshop had helped them to identify and prioritise issues relevant to maternity service users.

Participants valued the opportunity to spend time with other MVP members and work together on relevant issues in an interactive way.  They felt they had a shared understanding of the ways of working together and a clear sense of direction to move forward.

“An opportunity to work with colleagues.  Good focus on shared agenda with resulting greater understanding of issues with a commitment to take forward the learning.” 

 “I have come away with a clear sense of the MSLC direction.” 

  • 82% said they felt more confident about participating in their MSLC after the event and 87% said that what they had learnt would make a difference to their practice.

Impact on work and practice 

NCT VOICES development days have helped MVPs and MSLCs to:

Work together to tackle local issues

“Running an NCT VOICES training and team building event for the committee had a very powerful impact. With a new shared identity and a common goal to improve services for all local women, the MSLC was able to address and rectify midwifery shortages.”

- MSLC lay member

Improve service user engagement and representation

“We had a breakthrough; we are going to recruit more keen lay people but we are also going to go out to groups and we are not going to worry about having representation on the quarterly group meeting. The formal setting of the MSLC in the hospital setting can be off putting so we have set up a rhythm of visits to women in groups with help from health visitors and talk to women and this is new since NCT VOICES mainly because it got us mobilised and thinking.”

“We are ready to print the leaflet that was designed at the training and we have used the work plan which was begun at the workshop.”

Share service user views effectively

“I have felt easier talking to the midwives at MSLC meetings and I have been able to give them feedback from the clients.”

Improve the efficiency and efficacy of meetings

“Using the NCT facilitator’s idea of the three legged stool, we have a pre-meeting which is an agenda setting meeting with the CCG, consultant midwife and chair… we discuss what the angles and priorities are for discussion in our quarterly voices meeting.  This enables us to recalibrate and reorientate ourselves and use the meeting more effectively.”

For more details about NCT VOICES contact the Commissioned Services team via


Work through our Assessment Tool to develop a clearer idea of your group’s strengths and weaknesses.

Is your group struggling to develop common goals and achieve measurable success? Check out our Priority Setting and Workplan exercise and diagram.

NHS England’s resource pack on Implementing Better Births contains a chapter on co-production with women and their families.

Tried and tested ways of achieving impact with MSLCs can be found in chapter two of NCT’s Practical Guide to Running Your MSLC.

Courses & workshops

NCT Antenatal course

Find out more

NCT Antenatal refresher course

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Local activities and meetups

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