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Members discuss maternity transformation at RCM event

25 April, 2017

Members discuss maternity transformation at RCM event

Maternity transformation in England was the focus of an RCM policy seminar held yesterday (24 March).

RCM members gathered at BMA House in London’s Tavistock square to learn how the recommendations set out in last year’s Better Births report are being put into practice in maternity services across the country.

Offering an overview of Better Births was Matt Tagney, director of the Maternity Transformation Programme for NHS England. 

He spoke about the work being carried out at national level to implement the report’s 28 recommendations. However, he reminded members that, for maternity transformation to be truly effective, change also needs to happen at local level.

‘On any programme like this, we know from bitter experience that these things cannot be delivered by an individual sitting in an office,’ he said. 

‘There are things on a national level that we need to do to support and enable services to transform, but for the vision that we want to achieve, we believe we have to cooperate with midwives, with women, with obstetricians and people working in maternity services.’

Guest speakers at the event expanded on this by detailing the sorts of changes already being pioneered at local level. 

Among those presenting was Pippa Nightingale from Northwest London STP, who spoke about the challenges of implementing the recommendation for continuity of carer, and how they are working on solutions that offer midwives more flexible ways of working.

Cathy Rogers, consultant midwife from the Royal Free London Hospital, also spoke at the event. She offered an outline of a Better Births workshop that the trust has launched to educate staff about the importance of the report’s recommendations and equip them with the tools to offer women a more personalised service.

The seminar also featured panel discussions and workshops, where those in attendance got the chance to explore in greater detail the implications of maternity transformation in day-to-day midwifery practice. 

Commenting on the day’s events, RCM chief executive Cathy Warwick said: 'We’ve heard some very important messages that we’ve got to have flexible systems, which meet the needs of not only women, and that’s probably the most important thing, but also of the midwives who are providing the care.’

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