The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) has published new guidance to help midwives and their mangers to better meet the needs of responding to women’s wishes for a specific midwife to be present at their birth.
Facilitating women’s choice of midwife: Practical approaches to managing with flexibility; was produced by the RCM in response to requests for help from members.
The RCM recognises that while it is important to accommodate women’s wishes, it can be a challenge within the constraints of running an efficient service and managing shift patterns.
RCM developed the guidance on how requests can be facilitated by consulting widely amongst midwives and also sought input from the Clinical Negligence Scheme for Trusts, one of the local supervising authority midwifery officers, and the NHS England maternity lead.
Commenting Suzanne Tyler, Director for Services to Members at the RCM said; “The RCM developed this guidance as a direct response to RCM members asking us for advice about how best they could meet the challenge of responding to the individual needs and wishes of the women they care for within the NHS.
This has always been a challenge particularly in recent years with many constraints of keeping maternity services running efficiently and effectively. Most often this occurs when a woman asks that a named, known individual midwife be present at her delivery.
The RCM is anxious to avoid conflicts or tensions between managers and employers and individual practitioners and so has developed some advice on how such requests can be facilitated.
We recognise that keeping a maternity service running and providing a service to all is complex and challenging, but hope that with planning, communication and flexibility the NHS should be able to accommodate women’s choices.”
Facilitating women’s choice of midwife: RCM Guidance: Practical approaches to managing with flexibility, can be viewed in full here: https://www.rcm.org.uk/sites/default/files/Facilitating%20Women%E2%80%99s%20Choice%20of%20Midwife%20A5%2016pp_3%20SP.pdf
To contact the RCM Press Office call 020 7312 3456 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information visit the RCM website at https://www.rcm.org.uk
Notes 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/.