RCM welcomes NHS investment which will enable women to access their maternity records online
on 17 June 2021 RCM Member RCM Maternity Safety Midwives Midwifery Midwife Shortage Director For Midwifery Midwifery Workforce Maternity Services Digital Maturity NHS England NHS England NHS Funding NHS Staff
The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) has welcomed an announcement by NHS England that will see £52 million invested to speed up the delivery of online maternity records.
The announcement was made today by the Chief Nursing Officer for England, Ruth May, at the NHS Confederation Conference.
The RCM has long called for more investment in digital technology across all UK maternity services and launched a position statement in March this year calling for more investment and a Digital Midwife in every Trust or Health Board with maternity services.
Responding to the announcement, the RCM’s Director for Professional Midwifery, Mary Ross-Davie said:
“We know maternity services can deliver safer and even better care through the use of digital technology, so the RCM really welcomes this investment. For too long maternity services have been overlooked, passed over and generally left at the back of the queue when it comes to digital investment. Investing in digital technology and giving staff the training and equipment, they need will lead to better care, regardless of where that care is delivered. Investing in this area will also free up midwifery time enabling them to spend more clinical time with pregnant women.
The RCM recently surveyed it members on their attitudes towards digital technology and almost 90% of those who responded said they felt confident or very confident using digital technology at work and almost 50% said they could already see technology improving maternity care.
The Better Births Five Year Forward View report in published 2016 said that 90% of women want to access their maternity records digitally.
“Crucially, this will improve the maternity experience of pregnant women. Having to repeat information to different healthcare professionals can be frustrating, and for some women, such as those who have experienced previous pregnancy loss, it can be deeply upsetting too. Giving women access to their own maternity records via their smartphones or online will benefit many women immensely and no doubt ensure each women can feel more in control of her pregnancy.”
This year in addition to publishing a Digital Technology in Maternity Care position statement the RCM has also published guidance on electronic record keeping for midwives and maternity support workers.
To contact the RCM Media Office call 020 7312 3456, or email [email protected]
Notes to Editors:
- You can read the RCM’s Digital Technology in Maternity Care Position Statement here: Publications (rcm.org.uk)
- Invest in technology to make maternity services safer says RCM https://www.rcm.org.uk/media-releases/2020/december/investment-needed-to-support-safer-maternity-care-says-rcm/
- The RCM’s Electronic Record Keeping Guidance can be read here https://www.rcm.org.uk/media/4818/rcm_guidance-report_elec_record_keeping.pdf
- Working in a digital world https://www.rcm.org.uk/news-views/news/2021/march/working-in-a-digital-world/
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.