Friday 4th January, 2013
Commenting on the announcement today by Prime Minister David Cameron about the “Family and Friends” test, where patients and staff are asked whether they would recommend a service, including maternity services, to a family member or friend – which will be introduced into every hospital in England from April 2013, Louise Silverton, the Royal College of Midwives’ director for midwifery, said: “We welcome the introduction of the test and feel that it will help inform and empower women and their families about where they want to give birth. It will lead to women choosing maternity units where they believe they will get high-quality maternity care or go for a home birth or to a midwife-led unit, if these are rated positively by other women. Peer-led information is just as important and significant as evidence-based research.
Last year's Birthplace study by Oxford University showed that women with low-risk pregnancies were more satisfied if they had a home birth or used a midwife-led unit than a doctor-led, obstetric unit. The NHS should not focus on limited performance indicators but also take into account a woman’s total experience of a maternity service. "
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Notes to editors
The Royal College of Midwives is the voice of midwifery. We are the UK’s only trade union and professional organisation led by midwives for midwives. The vast majority of the midwifery profession are our members. The RCM promotes midwifery, quality maternity services and professional standards. We support and represent our members individually and collectively in all four UK countries. We influence on behalf of our members and for the interests of the women and families for which they care. For more information visit the RCM website at www.rcm.org.uk.