Sandra Guise

I’m Sandra, I live in Ennerdale, on the west coast of Cumbria. My three children were born at West Cumberland Hospital. I have been involved in varying ways and in different projects relating the service user/ family perspective in maternity and children’s services, on and off over several years.  I have been actively involved since the launch of Better Births in 2016 in formation of local Maternity Voices Partnership Groups, these have expanded opportunities to be involved and make a positive difference locally in maternity. Involvement is maturing now into Co production at many levels, normalising the service user voice being an expected part of all maternity service improvement and development. Maternity is such an important and influential time in a woman s/ birthing person’s life, and their partner/ family’s life.   It is vital that we strive to ensure that all local voices have a safe space to be heard, particularly those from groups who experience poorer outcomes. I’m currently Chair of West Cumbria Maternity Voices Partnership Group (MVP) and Chair of the Carlisle & Eden MVP.  As MVP Chair I sit on the West North East Cumbria Local Maternity System (LMS) Board ensuring that service user voices are represented at the strategic level.  I am one of three Co-Chairs of the Maternity Engagement group (MEG) that covers North Cumbria and the Northeast, one lay Chair for each LMS. We act as a lay link between the local LMS board and MEG. I’m a founding committee member of National Maternity Voices, which is the national group of Maternity Voices Partnerships in England, and an NHS Peer Mentor for MVP Chairs.