One to One Midwives – RCM calls for Independent Investigation
The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) is calling for an independent investigation into One to One Midwives going into administration.
The RCM was extremely concerned when it received notification that One to One Midwives was to go into administration on Wednesday 31 July 2019.
The RCM received news of this only two days before. The RCM is the recognised body to represent the staff of this employer and we were accorded no consultation.
We have since been, on an emergency basis, meeting and communicating with our fifty members mostly employed in the Northwest and Essex where One to One had contracts with NHS commissioners. We have sought to work with many stakeholders to ensure employment rights are observed, to facilitate employment in the NHS for midwives and MSWs and to support members at this difficult time. This will continue and we are grateful for the efforts of NHS England, Heads of Midwifery and our solicitors, Thompsons.
The sudden announcement of administration of this company has caused anguish and uncertainty for women, for whom One to One provided care. We understand that transfer arrangements are now in place because the key issue is the continuing care those women booked with the company will now be receiving from the NHS.
The RCM has long supported continuity of carer in maternity services alongside choice, as a means to deliver women centred care. The RCM is working hard to support continuity of carer within the NHS and will continue to do so whilst ensuring sustainability. We regret the move to administration of ‘One to One’ as a going concern and as an example of market failure. We have argued in many forums, not least with successive Secretaries/Ministers of State as well as with NHS England that the tariff for maternity services did not support either commercial companies or NHS provided services adequately.
We do not know the reasons why One to One went into administration or what the financial and service issues were in detail. We, as a trade union and professional body have been engaged in picking up the pieces left over – the service to women and their families, the careers of midwives and MSWs, as well as their employment rights. It is for this reason we believe that NHS England should commission an Independent Investigation to learn lessons, to make the position transparent and to apportion responsibility, whether financial or professional.
Note to editors
The RCM is the only trade union and professional association dedicated to serving midwifery and the whole midwifery team. We provide workplace advice and support, professional and clinical guidance and information, and learning opportunities with our broad range of events, conferences and online resources. For more information visit the RCM website at https://www.rcm.org.uk/.