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The RCM regularly responds to consultations from the NHS, government and other organisations on issues that affect maternity services. Our responses aim to represent members' views and provide an expert midwifery perspective to influence decision makers.

The Department of Health has launched its consultation on the proposed changes to the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) legislation for midwives and nurses and we are encouraging all midwives to have their say. The NMC proposals include:

  • Removing statutory midwifery supervision provisions, which will result in a clear separation of the roles and purpose of the supervision and regulation of midwives.
  • Removing the statutory Midwifery Committee from the NMC’s governance structures.
  • Making improvements to the NMC’s fitness to practice processes.

For more information about this consultation, click here to read the blog now>

Commenting, Cathy Warwick RCMs Chief Executive says, “The proposals put forward by the Department of Health is to remove, through a Section 60 Order, the Midwifery section of the Nursing & Midwifery Order 2001 (the Order) which provides the legislation for :The Midwifery Committee, Rules as to midwifery practice and the Local Supervision of Midwives.

The NMC has provided the RCM with assurance that the proposed changes do not affect: the separate registration of midwives; direct entry to the register as a midwife; the protected title of a midwife; the protected function of attendance on a woman in childbirth (this applies to labour only) or separate competencies and pre-registration education standards for midwives.”

“On the introduction of a system of non-statutory supportive supervision and leadership in midwifery the RCM is supportive of this work, led by the Department of Health and the four Chief Nursing Officers in the UK, although we remain concerned about the system being able to sustain a non-statutory framework of supervision for midwives in the long term”.

“The RCM is also concerned that the statutory Midwifery Committee is currently the only voice of midwifery within a nursing dominated council. What is worrying is that without this voice regulation for midwives will be largely determined by another profession. The NMC has recently appointed a Midwifery Adviser (one day a week) and a Midwifery Panel to provide advice on midwifery matters. However, as quickly as these posts/processes are created they can be dismantled, unlike a statutory Midwifery Committee”

“Finally, we welcome the proposed changes which will enable the NMC Fitness to Practice processes to be more effective and efficient”.

The RCM is encouraging all midwives and those who have an interest in the regulation of midwives to respond to this important consultation which can be found here Questions 1 and 2 of the consultation concern supervision and the Midwifery Committee respectively. The consultation closes on the 17th of June 2016, at 11:45am.