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Editorial: Looking good, feeling sunny

28 November, 2014

Editorial: Looking good, feeling sunny

The RCM director of services to members Suzanne Tyler looks back over a busy and successful year.


It was dark when I left home today, it’ll be dark when I leave the office, and it’s pouring with rain. But as we near the end of the year, we have so much to feel sunny about. This has been a great year for the profile, reputation and impact that together you make.

UK midwifery was fantastically represented at the ICM congress. The RCM launched its new i-learn products and we now have over 8000 members using this to further their CPD. With over 40 courses, there is something for everyone and we will expand it even further to support your lifelong learning.

The RCM also participated in Pride in London and Manchester for the first time where members and their families joined us in celebrating diversity and equality. We engaged with the public, who were impressed by this other side to midwives’ concerns.

Last month was our biggest ever annual conference – more than 1000 midwives, student midwives and MSWs over two days. The feedback we’ve had suggests it was ‘the best ever’. Sharing, networking and your overwhelming desire to make maternity even better are at the heart of our conference and your professionalism shone through. Why do top speakers from within health care and beyond come to our conference? They do it because of your credibility and your reputation.

But, of course, this year will be remembered as the year that midwives in the NHS in England went on strike. With one of the biggest turnouts of any trade union ballot in recent years and with an overwhelming ‘yes’ vote, midwives stood together to say ‘enough’s enough’. That your public approval ratings have increased since the strike just shows that our central case – wanting the best for women has to mean treating midwives and MSWs fairly – is widely understood. Our behind-the-scenes work with politicians, NHS employers and other trade unions has been full of praise for your professional manner, coherence of your arguments and justness of your case. Your workplace representatives and officers worked alongside HoMs to ensure we had maximum publicity without risking the safety of women and babies. RCM members have shown that being a professional organisation and a trade union don’t just complement each other, they reinforce and validate each other.

And now, judging is underway for the RCM awards, which this year have had the highest number of entries demonstrating the breadth of midwifery and MSW innovation and excellence.

So with the rain still falling, the world of the RCM is bright. You have shown what a 21st-century professional organisation looks like – and it looks good.


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