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Country news: Northern Ireland

28 November, 2014

Country news: Northern Ireland

News and updates from RCM Northern Ireland by director Breedagh Hughes (Midwives Issue 6 2014).

There have been many changes within midwifery in Northern Ireland (NI), with Ruth Clarke and Elaine Madden retiring as HoMS in the Belfast and South Eastern trusts. They are succeeded by Brenda Kelly and Zoe Boreland. Liz McGourty has retired from the Clinical Education Centre with Fiona Bradley stepping up to fill her shoes, and Verena Wallace will temporarily move to the midwifery adviser position in the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPS), with arrangements for the LSAMO post to be confirmed shortly. Congratulations go to Elaine also, on being awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
We held our 20th joint RCM/INMO conference in Dublin recently, with a very positive evaluation from the delegates. Planning is already underway for next year’s conference. Before that, however, we will have the joint RCM/RCOG/DHSSPS/PHA/LSAMO conference in March. The theme will be postnatal care.
In addition to conferences, the RCM has, quite literally, been out on the road. We took to the streets during the summer to join trade union colleagues to protest about racism in our society and we attended the Belfast Pride rally.
We’ve also been around the country holding i-learn seminars and our local reps have been organising workplace pension seminars for those thinking of retirement in the next couple of years. We are working closely with the DHSSPS to ensure that we continue to have enough midwifery training places to meet future need.
The Department of Justice is currently seeking views on whether NI needs legislation to permit women to have an abortion in cases of fatal fetal anomaly or where they have become pregnant as the result of a crime. For the first time, the new legislation would also provide a statutory right to conscientious objection for healthcare staff in NI. We welcome your thoughts on the proposed legislation. Please email me at: breedagh.hughes@rcm.org.uk
In NI, a similar award to England has been made regarding pay and the RCM and other unions are considering their position. Your local RCM rep will keep you informed. In the meantime, it is now political party conference season, and I shall be out campaigning for ‘fair pay for all’ on behalf of midwives and MSWs in NI.
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