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.
Births in midwifery units in England have trebled, up from five per cent to 14 per cent over the last six years, a new study by researchers at The University of Nottingham has shown.
The research, led by a team of academics in the University’s School of Health Sciences, revealed that the number of midwifery units alongside hospital obstetric units almost doubled from 53 to 97 during the period 2010 to 2016.
However, despite this increase, 25 per cent of all NHS trusts in England still have no midwifery units, denying women the opportunity to access this type of care, which has been shown to provide personalised care to women, to decrease caesarean birth rates and costs per birthing.