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New network to promote MLUs and improve choice

28 April, 2016

New network to promote MLUs and improve choice

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A new network will be launched today to increase the availability of midwife-led care for women, including birth centres and home births. 

The Midwifery Unit Network (MUNet) will be launched by Baroness Cumberlege, chair of the National Maternity Review, at City University.

The launch of the network is in response to the findings of the National Maternity Review in England.

This said that clinical commissioning groups ‘must make available maternity services that offer women the choice of home birth, birth in a midwifery unit and birth in an obstetric unit’.

The MUNet website will be a hub for resources and information sharing. The aim is to have a one-stop-shop collecting best practice and the learning and knowledge that exists in midwife-led birth centres.

This will enable the resources and information to be quickly and easily accessed and shared by midwives, midwifery managers and commissioners.

MUNet has been co-founded by midwifery consultant and RCM board member Sheena Byrom, consultant midwife Felipe Castro Cardona, lecturer and researcher Lucia Rocca-Ihenacho, and service user advocate Mary Newburn.

Sheena said: ‘Midwifery units are still a too well kept secret. We also want to assist maternity services who are looking to develop MLUs by providing resources on our website, and connecting them with established successful midwifery units.’

Lucia will be working on a case study in partnership between City University London and Barts Health NHS Trust with the aim of increasing the number of women eligible for midwifery-led settings, who plan for birth in midwifery units and at home. This will be achieved by engaging both service users and staff in several initiatives, including the improvement of the information women receive and more training for staff.

Lucia said: 'I am really excited to work collaboratively in partnership with amazing service users, midwives, doctors, inspirational leaders and researchers, who have good care and women’s choices at heart. I am really honoured about this fellowship.'

The MUNet founders are willing to share their expertise on an individual level and service level. 

If you wish to contact them, you can do so via info@midwiferyunitnetwork.com

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