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Policy event highlights changes to maternity services

28 July, 2017

Policy event highlights changes to maternity services

Maternity transformation and supervision models were the key topics at the RCM’s latest policy seminar, which took place yesterday (27 July).

Held in Nottingham, the event provided RCM members with an opportunity to learn more about how the upcoming changes to maternity services could affect them.

Birte Harlev-Lam, clinical director for maternity and children at NHS Improvement, gave the opening address, in which she offered a comprehensive overview of both the Maternity Transformation Programme and its nine workstreams. 

She also provided an insight into how A-EQUIP – the new model replacing statutory supervision – will work in practice.

In her speech, she admitted that introducing these new systems would be challenging, but urged RCM members to fully support the changes. 

‘We want to get there and we need your help to get there,’ she said.

Other speakers at the event included representatives from some of Better Births’ early adopter sites, who provided a preview of some of the ideas they are piloting for maternity transformation.

Judy Atkin, midwifery clinical leader at Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, revealed how Yeovil and Somerset are exploring the idea of training MSWs to take a more active role in postnatal care – a move which they believe could improve continuity of care for women.

And among the transformations being trialled in Cheshire and Merseyside is the introduction of a ‘baby box’ scheme, similar to that run in Finland. 

Catherine McClennan, programme director at Cheshire and Merseyside’s Women’s and Children’s Services Partnership, told attendees that they believe the boxes could improve outcomes for mothers and their babies.

Those attending also had the chance to discuss A-EQUIP, and learn more about how the new models could be introduced in their workplace. 

They got to hear feedback from an A-EQUIP pilot site, as well as learn more about what the new role of professional midwifery advocate (PMA), which will replace the supervisor of midwives role, will involve.

Joy Kirby, regional maternity lead for Midlands and East, explained that the introduction of PMAs should be seen as an opportunity to support and develop the advocacy role that all midwives have. ‘We are empowering midwives to be good advocates for women,’ she said.

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