An Royal College of Midwives press release discusses a new report on the threats faced by maternity services.
The Royal College of Midwifery has published State of Maternity Services Report 2016. The report examines emerging issues and trends in relation to maternity services. It highlights that over a third of the UK’s NHS midwives are nearing retirement age; the increase in births to older mothers, who may require more care throughout their pregnancies; and rates of obesity which are placing additional demands on maternity services.
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The National Federation of Women’s Institutes (NFWI) and National Childbirth Trust have published Support overdue: women’s experiences of maternity services 2017. This report presents the findings of the NFWI’s and NCT’s second survey of women’s experiences of maternity care, providing insights into key aspects of the experiences of 2,500 women. Women are generally positive about the maternity care they receive and many praised the professionalism of the staff who cared for them but some findings gave cause for concern.
Read the full report here
Additional Link to RCM press release here
The National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) published its guideline for safe midwifery staffing in maternity settings (NICE Safe Staffing Guideline NG4 2015) in February 2015. This publication from the Royal College of Midwives supports senior midwives and NHS managers implement the NICE safe midwifery staffing guideline.
Link to full document here
Guidance from the Royal College of Midwives which explains the role of the midwife, the limits and scope of the role, its relationship with other professionals and care givers and the approaches which are most likely to lead to safe and effective staffing decisions.
“The role of the midwife is clearly described and demarcated. The evidence shows that
it is in the interests of women to receive the majority of their care from a small group
of midwives they know and trust. Midwifery services should be staffed to enable this
Read the full document here
The recommendations take account of the significant variation in service provision around the country in terms of workload complexity, geography and current middle-grade staffing. Therefore, the report recognises that there is no single solution to delivering safe maternity and gynaecological services.
The report specifically looks at the need for some degree of resident consultant working as a solution to workforce issues and recommends the use of hybrid rotas, which include both resident and non-resident out-of-hours shifts.
The report also includes case studies demonstrating how this model is working in practice across the country, and proposes RCOG standards for consultant job descriptions and job plans to support the recommendations.