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Ashford maternity services invest in staff to invest in better care

19 May, 2017

Ashford maternity services invest in staff to invest in better care

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Ashford’s William Harvey Maternity Unit is working with the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) to enhance the support available for midwives and maternity colleagues. The unit is part of East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust

The unit has signed the RCM’s Caring for You Charter – part of the RCM’s Caring for you campaign - which aims to improve the health, safety and wellbeing of maternity staff. This supports and enables them to continue providing the highest levels of maternity care for women and their families.

Launched in June last year the campaign is aiming to get NHS organisations across the UK to sign up to the Caring for You Charter. Over half of all NHS trusts and boards in the UK have now signed-up to the Charter.

East Kent Hospitals’ Chief Nurse and Director of Quality, Sally Smith, said: “East Kent Hospitals is dedicated to best practice, and ensuring that our women and their babies receive the safest and best of care.

“By signing the RCM’s ‘Caring for You Charter’, we’re demonstrating a tangible commitment to the development of our staff, the endorsement of living our values and caring for each other as well as the wellbeing of our mothers and their babies.

“We’re very pleased to be working collaboratively with the RCM, and we’ll continue to strive to exceed expectations in our maternity care for women and their families and also deliver on building and maintaining compassionate, caring and listening teams with all of our staff.”

Clare Livingstone, the Royal College of Midwives Regional Officer, supported the signing event and applauded the progress made at William Harvey Hospital, she said: “This has been possible with the dedication of our workplace reps and the willingness of the unit’s leadership team to engage with us and the wider maternity team.”

She added: “I am delighted that the unit has signed the Charter. They have committed hard working midwives and maternity support workers, led by an enthusiastic management team. In signing the Charter they are demonstrating that the welfare of their staff is of paramount importance and this will have a very positive impact on those who work here, and the people they care for.”

When signing the charter, organisations are committing to five key principles:

  • Work in partnership with the RCM Health and Safety Representative to develop and implement an action plan about health, safety and wellbeing issues that are important to the maternity workforce and maternity service users.
  • Ensure that midwives and maternity support workers have access to a variety of shift patterns and flexible working and promote a positive workplace culture around working time including taking breaks.
  • Foster a positive working environment for all by signing up to the RCM/RCOG statement of commitment calling for zero tolerance policy on undermining and bullying behaviours.
  • Enable midwives and maternity support workers to access occupational health and other organisational policies for their mental and physical health, safety and wellbeing.
  • Nurture a compassionate and supportive workplace that cares for midwives and maternity support workers so that they can care for women and their families.

For a picture of the Charter signing contact the RCM Press Office on 020 7312 3456, or email pressofficer@rcm.org.uk.

For more information on the Caring for You campaign visit: https://www.rcm.org.uk/caring-for-you-campaign

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Notes to editors

About the RCM

The RCM is the only trade union and professional association dedicated to serving midwifery and the whole midwifery team. It provides workplace advice and support, professional and clinical guidance and information, and learning opportunities with a broad range of events, conferences and online resources. For more information visit the RCM website at www.rcm.org.uk.

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