. At 16.57
on 5 February 2010
, Jeanette Toner wrote:
I worked as a MSW in the community and loved the relationship I had with the Midwives. I was able to take many support visits on a daily basis leaving the midwives to deal with the more medical tasks and midwifery visits. I also completed a lot of the admin which bogs down midwives and was sad to leave when my husband’s job forced a move of counties. MSW's are an important source of support not only for the new mums but also in clinics and in the office and are in no way trying to replace the midwife but are there to provide support. I loved the job and I know my team appreciated the work I put in.
on 5 February 2010
, bring 'em on wrote:
Maternity ‘support’ workers… bring them on!! We midwives need all the support we can get to enable us to be 'with women’ when they need us, not sitting in an office doing paperwork just to keep our target figures look good! Our deadline should be with women, planning & implementing her care and ensuring she is healthy and the outcome is the delivery of a healthy infant, and the satisfaction that we as midwives had the time to spend with her.
. At 16.40
on 6 February 2010
, anon wrote:
Msws perform the same roles as the care assistants in hospitals. I think they are not robbing the duties of the nurses, as each one is different from the other, they only support the nurses.
on 6 February 2010,
Aunty Sue wrote:
The midwifery assistants, as they are called in my unit, are very valuable members of the team and therefore posed no threat to our jobs. They are there to give support to us and the mums, especially when we are bogged down by all the paper work that is expected after a delivery. Among other things, they undertake in-house training on how to support mums with breastfeeding and they are able to confidently give that support when it is needed. The midwifery assistants know their boundaries and I don’t think the RCM and/or other organisations will let the government recruit them as a cheaper alternative to midwives.
on 7 February 2010
, wary not weary wrote:
The MSW is steadily having more and more responsibilities thrust upon her, which is eroding our position as midwives. 25 years ago the old status of SEN, the State Enrolled Nurse, carried out the very same tasks as these MSWs are now taking on board. I feel it will not be long before they are issued with a registration number and are accountable for their actions. They have already joined the elite union of the RCM. Where will it stop?
on 7 February 2010
, midwife not keen on MSW role wrote:
I have had the misfortune of working with a MSW who thought she was better than a healthcare assistant, should be a midwife and generally lazy. She did nothing in the place of work that I couldn't do and usually had no problem doing! She was not a help, but she was a liability!! I personally am not sure of their role as yet and still am very suspicious of them, doing newborn daily checks on the wards and on community, performing guthrie's, taking bp, bloods, urine and trying to fill in patient notes. I didn't train for 3 years for them to come along as a cheap substitute. Personally I think employ HCA's and no MSWs, save the money and employ more midwives!!
on 11 February 2010
, Berni Hickling wrote:
As a community midwife I appreciate all the support I get from our maternity support workers. I run a busy GP and children’s centre, antenatal clinic support workers are a vital support to me to help with clerical and clinical duties and coordination of very busy clinics. We don’t expect GPs to do their consultations without clerical help etc which is what we experience at many of our clinics. I am sick to death of short-sighted cost cuts and bad systems in place, which make a midwife's job even harder. I work as a midwife in a challenging inner city area in the West Midlands and our community areas are identified as on of those areas in the country with high levels deprivation, poverty, teenage pregnancy, substance misuse as well as a multi cultural population with many language constraints etc. We work hard to make midwifery care accessible to our patients and provide a good service for our women offering home births etc, but we cannot do this alone there is already a national shortage of midwives and we are becoming ‘burnt out’. The future generation is important and cost cutting in maternity and social care is not the way forward.
. At 11.40
on 12 February 2010
, MK Midwife wrote:
I think MSWs have a vital role within midwifery teams, especially so in the community where it is simply not possible to attend every woman who requires, for instance, breastfeeding support. However midwives must be aware they are ultimately accountable for the care of their caseload and MSW's shouldn't be carrying out routine postnatal checks, they are inexperienced in terms of recognising deviance from normality. It is not fair on them to give them that responsibility and if they have visited a woman the midwife should discuss the outcome to keep fully informed.
on 5 March 2010
, Bev Ashton wrote:
I am a midwife and do not have a problem with the role of MSW per se however I do not agree with them being members of the RCM. The aspect which worries me is they will increasingly be asked to perform tasks previously done by the midwife and in a few years the midwife will be called to deliver the baby (a bit like the doctor used to do years ago.) The MSW's will not be able to say no to the pressure put on them to do more, as they will be afraid of losing the job if they refuse.
We have already seen the erosion of grades and have a very flat structure in the profession now.
on 12 March 2010
, Frustrated giraffe wrote:
As a new to post' MSW and new member of the RCM in this capacity, I am dismayed and disappointed from several of the above blogs. Firstly some of the comments from 'midwife not keen on msw role' are extremely shortsighted - unfortunately being a MSW does not ensure an enthusiastic and dynamic personality! That’s just individuality and character - I have worked with some dreadfully lazy, untrustworthy and downright useless midwives who too could be considered a liability but I don't think that all midwives are the same and their position should be abandoned!
Also, I fully appreciate that I have not done 3 years extensive training and am more than happy to leave decisions making and care plans to those who have. This does not mean that I cannot take a bp, realise that it is outside the normal parameters and report so the midwife who can then act on this information - if it’s normal and all is well surely then I have helped by carrying out a job that the midwife would have had to find time to do in amongst everything else she has to do that shift.
I'm sorry that many of you have had bad experiences of MSWs but please do not tar us all with the same brush - I'm also sorry if anyone feels I have been too outspoken on this blog on the 'elite' RCM site, I am dedicated and enthusiastic about my job and have to fight these battles on a daily basis in my own work place.
on 21 March 2010
, Sue Murphy wrote:
I work as
traditional community MW in Bristol in a team of 4 MWs and 1 MSW (who joined us
last year). What a godsend she has been. Having been trained in breastfeeding
support, she has been able to arrange extra visits and helps with the breastfeeding
peer support group, has been invaluable in the running of AN clinics by getting
notes/leaflets ready, spending extra time with women to deal with benefits and
general support. She always liaises with the MW doing the clinic and knows her
limitations. Also she does all the ordering of stores and leaflets, which seem
to always done 'out of hours' before. She helps at the early pregnancy clinic
and many more things, and is a valuable member of our team, we have been very
that when our HOM originally said we would be getting a MSW, I felt we only
needed clerical support, but after a year of working with our MSW we would not
want to go back to the 'old times'. As a team we have worked together to decide
who would do what and feel that each team must find out what works in their
setting, as all the MSWs on the community in Bristol each have slightly
different roles depending the needs of the women in their area.