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Country news: Northern Ireland

15 November, 2016

Country news: Northern Ireland

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Breedagh Hughes

News and updates from RCM Northern Ireland by director Breedagh Hughes (Midwives Winter 2016).

CARING FOR YOU: The team has been out meeting members, rolling out the Caring for You campaign and recruiting and training new union learning reps (ULRs).

The Northern Trust was first to sign up to the campaign and has an action plan with an initial focus on making sure midwives take proper breaks at work. The other four trusts should sign up by Christmas – watch this space!  

For more information on volunteering for this new ULR role in Northern Ireland (NI), contact Ann Nolan in the NI office on ann.nolan@rcm.org.uk
 
AFFILIATION: We are now officially affiliated to the Irish Congress of Trade Unions. Our application was supported by other health service trade unions on this side of the border and by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) in the south.  

This year’s RCM/INMO conference was in Dublin. We are in discussion with INMO to share our experience in providing e-learning and other remote RCM professional development opportunities with midwives in the south. We hope this will help as they begin to implement their new maternity strategy.
 
HEALTH MINISTER MEETING: The RCM met Michelle O’Neill, the NI health minister, in September. We discussed a range of issues, including workforce planning, midwives’ pay and perinatal mental health care. We also talked about the ongoing implementation of the NI maternity strategy – the mid-point review is due shortly.

 The Bengoa Report on restructuring health and social care (HSC) has been published and the minister announced that restoring the HSC Partnership Forum will ensure the report’s recommendations are taken forward in a partnership between the Department 
of Health, service providers (the five HSC trusts) and employee representatives (the trade unions). 

We look forward to working collaboratively to benefit service users and staff in the months and years ahead.
 
ABORTIONS: Pregnant women diagnosed with fatal fetal abnormality will have access to abortion services in NI under new plans. The Department of Health is looking at potential future legislation that will mean these women no longer have to travel to the mainland.
 
UGANDA: We welcomed two midwives from the RCM’s Momentum project in Uganda to NI. We thank those of you who provided hospitality to Mary and Mercy. 

Special thanks to the student midwifery society in Queen’s University who organised a great discussion event where members learnt more about the RCM’s global work.

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