The Royal College of Midwives has published State of Maternity Services Report 2018 – England (pdf). This report provides an overview of some of the ‘big picture’ trends that are taking place in the midwifery workforce and identifies some of the challenges that face the profession and maternity services. This year the RCM has published individual reports for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
NHS England has published Leading change, adding value: learning tool to support all nursing, midwifery and care staff. This document provides details of the Leading Change, Adding Value (LCAV) framework and supports all nursing, midwifery and care staff to identify and address unwarranted variation in practice – recognising unequal standards of care and changing them.
The Health and Social Care Secretary has announced that the majority of pregnant women will receive care from the same midwives throughout their pregnancy, labour and birth by 2021. The first step towards achieving this will see 20% of women benefiting from a ‘continuity of carer’ model by March 2019. To help achieve this, the NHS plans to train more than 3,000 extra midwives over 4 years. There will be 650 more midwives in training next year, and planned increases of 1,000 in the subsequent years.
NHS England has published A-EQUIP a model of clinical midwifery supervision. This document describes the new model of midwifery supervision for advocating and educating for quality improvement (A-EQUIP). Part 4 of the document includes implementation guidance for commissioners to help them understand the commissioning requirements for the Professional Midwifery Advocate role and the deployment of the A-EQUIP model.
This report published by the Foundation of Nursing Studies describes a project that aimed to set up weekly antenatal information and support group in a Children’s Centre to increase potential for secure attachments between mother and infant, increase confidence, encourage peer support and inform and empower mothers.
An Royal College of Midwives press release discusses a new report on the threats faced by maternity services.
The report ‘The gathering storm: England’s midwifery workforce challenges’ outlines how issues such as rising levels of complexity in pregnancy, midwife shortages and financial constraints in the NHS are ramping up the pressure on England’s maternity workforce and services.
The report also puts forward solutions to the problems in maternity services. It sets out ways in which decision makers across government and England’s NHS can tackle the situation. These include a more adaptable approach to requests for flexible working, and allowing the NHS Pay Review Body free reign to recommend staff pay wards. This will help retain midwives and not push them into costlier agency work. Implementing other changes will also help too, such as ensuring more low-risk women give birth outside of obstetric units.