RCM calls for more investment in digital maternity services
Maternity services are at the back of the queue when it comes to funding for digital transformation says the Royal College of Midwives (RCM), responding to a Public Accounts Committee (PAC) report. The RCM also calls on NHSX to publish its digital plan for maternity. The RCM is the only Royal College mentioned in the report and midwifery is the only profession singled out. This shows that the PAC understand the importance of maternity, and the RCM is calling on the Government and the NHS to give this the attention and resources it needs.
Hermione Jackson, Digital Midwife Advisor at the RCM, said: “We need more financial support for digital transformation in maternity. Too often maternity is last in line when it comes to digital transformation money. This is not a rarefied technological discussion, because digital technology will make maternity services safer and better. This lack of investment needs to change, and soon.”
The PAC report highlighted a ‘track record of failed IT programmes over almost two decades’ and says that we now risk repeating those mistakes. The RCM responded to the committee’s report consultation and made several recommendations. These included a skills audit to determine the training needs of maternity staff, maternity services should have complete end to end electronic maternity records with full digital access for women. The RCM also called for trusts have up-to-date digital strategies that they are accountable for delivering, and for ring-fenced funding for digital maternity transformation.
Hermione added, “NHSX took over responsibility for digital transformation of maternity in July and we are still waiting for their digital plan for maternity. This is needed urgently, along with the investment to support it, to move forward, improve digital resources and use this to deliver safer and better care.”
To contact the RCM media office call 020 7312 3456 or email [email protected]. Notes to Editors
For information on the RCM’s Digital work visit https://www.rcm.org.uk/news-views/rcm-opinion/delivering-on-digital/.
The Public Accounts Committee report can be accessed at https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm5801/cmselect/cmpubacc/680/68002.htm.
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/.