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Northern Ireland milestone as all its hospitals sign RCM staff wellbeing Charter

25 April, 2017

Northern Ireland milestone as all its hospitals sign RCM staff wellbeing Charter

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All of Northern Ireland’s maternity services have now signed up to the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) Caring for You Charter. This makes it the first UK country to have a 100% sign-up. Across the UK over half of maternity services in hospital trusts and boards have signed the Charter.


Launched in June, the RCM’s Caring for You campaign is aiming to get NHS organisations across the UK to sign up to the Caring for You Charter.  This aims to improve the health, safety and wellbeing of midwives, student midwives, and maternity support workers so they are able to continue providing the highest levels of maternity care for women and their families.

There is a strong relationship between levels of staff wellbeing and clinical outcomes. Research shows that when staff wellbeing is supported, employee involvement increases, motivation and performance levels increase and outcomes for women improve. Investment in staff is an investment in care for women and their families.

Commenting, Suzanne Tyler, Director for Services to Members at the Royal College of Midwives said: “This is a great achievement for Northern Ireland and is testament to the hard work and effort of our representatives and staff there.

“It is hugely encouraging to see so many heads of midwifery concerned abut the wellbeing of the staff, and committing time and resources to it. It shows not only a concern for staff but a commitment to the mothers, babies and families they care for. I look forward to many more trusts and boards across the UK signing up.”


Breedagh Hughes, Royal College of Midwives, Director for Northern Ireland, said: “I am immensely proud that Northern Ireland is leading the way. Our maternity services and their staff should all be proud, as should our hardworking staff and workplace reps. This is a great achievement by everyone and a significant step in improving the working lives of midwives and maternity support workers, and the care for mothers, babies and their families.”

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.

To contact the RCM Press Office call 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.


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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