Western Trust maternity services support Caring for You Charter

By RCM on 06 January 2017 Caring For You Charter Caring For You campaign

The Western Health and Social Care Trust (Western Trust) is delighted to be working with the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) to improve the support available for midwives and maternity colleagues.

The Trust’s maternity services have signed the RCM’s Caring for You Charter, which aims to improve the health, safety and wellbeing of maternity staff. This supports and enables them to continue providing the highest levels of maternity care for women and their families.

Launched in June last year, the campaign is aiming to get NHS organisations across the UK to sign up to the Caring for You Charter.

Maureen Miller, Acting Head of Midwifery and Gynae Services at the Western Trust, said: “The ‘Caring for You Campaign’ aims to improve midwives and maternity support workers’ health, safety and wellbeing at work, so that they are able to provide high quality maternity care for women and their families.

Our birth rate has steadily increased over the past few years and our maternity unit is now coping with more complex midwifery cases than ever before.  Midwives and maternity support workers are now working harder to deliver high standard of care.  The service is now reliant on midwives and maternity support workers, working through their breaks and well beyond their contracted hours to provide safe care for women.  I have signed and am committed to the ‘Caring for You’ Charter.  I feel that there has always been a high level of camaraderie in our maternity units at Altnagelvin Hospital and South West Acute Hospital and I am very proud of this.”

Maureen continued: “The Western Trust is delighted to be working in partnership with the RCM to develop an action plan to ensure a positive work place to nurture a compassionate and supportive environment that cares for midwives, maternity support workers so that they can care for women and their families.”

RCM Director for Northern Ireland, Breedagh Hughes said, said: “I am delighted that the Western Trust has signed the Charter. They have a committed team of midwives and maternity support workers, led by an enthusiastic interim head of midwifery committed to the welfare of her staff. This is a very positive move and I welcome the board’s commitment to staff and the people they care for.”

When signing the charter organisations are committing to five key principles:

  • Work in partnership with the RCM Health and Safety Representative to develop and implement an action plan about health, safety and wellbeing issues that are important to the maternity workforce and maternity service users.
  • Ensure that midwives and maternity support workers have access to a variety of shift patterns and flexible working and promote a positive workplace culture around working time including taking breaks.
  • Foster a positive working environment for all by signing up to the RCM/RCOG statement of commitment calling for zero tolerance policy on undermining and bullying behaviours.
  • Enable midwives and maternity support workers to access occupational health and other organisational policies for their mental and physical health, safety and wellbeing.
  • Nurture a compassionate and supportive workplace that cares for midwives and maternity support workers so that they can care for women and their families.

To contact the RCM Press Office call 020 7312 3456 or email pressofficer@rcm.org.uk.  To contact the Western Trust Communications Department T: (028) 82835197/71611188.

Notes to editors

About the RCM

The RCM is the only trade union and professional association dedicated to serving midwifery and the whole midwifery team. It provides workplace advice and support, professional and clinical guidance and information, and learning opportunities with a broad range of events, conferences and online resources. For more information visit the RCM website at www.rcm.org.uk.