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24 May, 2018

This evening the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) will continue its campaign to end female genital mutilation (FGM) by 2030 as it brings together a panel of survivors, experts and activists to discuss Ending FGM: Where Next?.

24 May, 2018

A report on NHS funding has been published today by Health Foundation and the Institute for Fiscal Studies in association with NHS Confederation. The report says that UK health spending will need to increase by £95bn by 2033/34, rising from 7.3% of national income this year to 8.9% of national income, to maintain current service levels: increases of 3.3% a year.

23 May, 2018

A new publication published today (Thursday, 24th May) by the Royal College of Midwives in Scotland highlights the breadth of roles of Scottish midwives. The publication - Midwifery in Scotland – into the 2020s - shows politicians, policy makers and the public just how wide the role of the midwife is. This ranges from working in hospitals, in the community and the home and in urban and rural settings, in specialist roles and in education.

22 May, 2018

The importance of public health and the need to invest in it is the focus of a motion from the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) in Wales at the TUC Wales Conference starting today (Tuesday, 22nd May 2018). The RCM Wales motion focuses on smoking and weight management in pregnancy and the motion is set to be heard on Wednesday, 23rd May. The RCM Wales motion - Public Health an Investment in the Future - will be presented by the RCM Director for Wales Helen Rogers.

15 May, 2018

A long term strategy for Northern Ireland’s health and social care workforce has been launched today (Monday 14th May) by the by the Department of Health alongside details of new staffing-related investment.

The health and social care Workforce Strategy 2026: Delivering for Our People sets out goals for a workforce that will match the requirements of a transformed system. It also addresses the need to tackle serious challenges with supply, recruitment and retention of staff.

The Department of Health has also confirmed details of an initial allocation of £15m in workforce development, from the £100m transformation fund for 2018/19.

11 May, 2018

A new report by UNICEF has highlighted global “breastfeeding gaps” between rich and poor and shows UK breastfeeding rates amongst the lowest in the world.

The analysis notes that one in five babies in high-income countries are not breastfed at all, compared to just 1 in 25 in low- and-middle-income countries.

The report also focuses on UK breastfeeding rates being amongst some  of the lowest in the world. 150,000 babies in the UK never receive breastmilk in their life.

10 May, 2018

Research commissioned by a UK child safety group into seatbelt use while pregnant has revealed that 45.9% % of women, when asked whether they knew of the correct way to wear a seat belt while pregnant, said no.

It also found that almost a fifth (19.4%) of women said they sometimes chose not to wear a seat belt at all during pregnancy because of the discomfort. 

4 May, 2018

All this week midwives, maternity support workers, student midwives, RCM branches and midwifery societies across the UK have held local events to celebrate International Day of Midwife (IDM)  2018 with support from the Royal College of Midwives (RCM).

Annually May 5th is the internationally recognised day for highlighting the work of midwives here in the UK and across the world and tomorrow (Saturday may 5th) many more RCM members will hold events and celebrations to mark IDM 2018.

IDM was first launched by the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) in 1992 and annually May 5th is the internationally recognised day for highlighting the work of midwives here in the UK and across the world.

The theme for this year’s celebration is ‘Midwives leading the way with quality care’.

4 May, 2018

Midwives and maternity support workers (MSWs) at University Hospital Wishaw (NHS Lanarkshire) this week received royal recognition for their work as Her Royal Highness (HRH) The Princess Royal visited their award winning maternity service.

The HRH The Princess Royal who is patron of the RCM met with midwives, MSWs, Neonatal midwives and other members of staff from NHS Lanarkshire on Monday (April 30th) during a royal visit.

Her Royal Highness was welcomed on arrival by RCM President, Kathryn Gutteridge, RCM’s Director for Scotland Dr. Mary Ross Davie, RCM’s Chief Executive Gill Walton and Lyn Clyde Director for Midwifery at University Hospital Wishaw.

During the visits HRH The Princess Royal met midwives at the Wishaw’s Early Pregnancy Unit and also viewed their state of the art birthing rooms and training rooms used by student midwives.

In March this year NHS Lanarkshire was named ‘Midwifery Service of the Year’ at the RCM’s Annual Midwifery Awards 2018.

The Maternity team at Wishaw care for women across north and south Lanarkshire and deliver 4,500 babies every year, maternity care is also delivered to approximately another 2,500 women that live within Lanarkshire but choose to deliver in other units nearer to their homes.

Ten midwifery teams provide personalised community care for women with two outlying satellite units offering day care and scanning facilities. Furthermore additional support is offered by specialist midwives in areas such as substance misuse, perinatal and bereavement care.

During her visit The Princess Royal also formally opened the new alongside midwifery unit (AMLU) which will offer a low risk birthing option for women and their families.

4 May, 2018

HRH the Princess Royal, Patron of the Royal College of Midwives visited the Maternity Unit at Warrington Hospital on Wednesday, 2nd May 2018. The visit was in recognition of the team being awarded Midwifery Service of the Year by the RCM. The Princess was welcomed by Her Majesty’s Vice Lord-Lieutenant of Cheshire, Mrs. Joelle Warren and guests, RCM President Ms. Kathryn Gutteridge, the Trust’s Chief Executive Mel Pickup, Chairman Steve McGuirk CBE DL and the RCM’s Chief Executive Ms. Gill Walton.

3 May, 2018

A new study published today by The Lancet  which compares child mortality in England and Sweden – two high-income countries with similar levels of economic development and universal healthcare seeks  to understand factors driving higher rates of child mortality in England.

Deaths in children under-5 years old occur one and half times more often in England than in Sweden, according to an inter-country comparison of child mortality including more than 3.9 million English births and 1 million Swedish births, published in The Lancet.

According to the study the difference is largely due to children in England typically weighing less at birth, being born earlier, and having more birth anomalies (such as congenital heart defects) than in Sweden.
The authors say that public health interventions to help improve the health of mothers before and during pregnancy, as well as reducing socioeconomic disadvantage overall, will be important to improve the health of babies at birth and increase their survival

2 May, 2018

This week, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board (UHB) has launched Wales’s first Specialist Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) Pilot Clinic. The specialist service known as the ‘Women’s Wellbeing Clinic’ will be open to all females affected by FGM or who are at potential risk of FGM occurring.

The cultural practice of FGM is widely associated with profound health implications for all females affected and has no health benefits. Until now, females left with both the physical and psychological scars of FGM have not had access to specialist services in Wales.

The Midwifery-led FGM Service will be led by Emily Brace, Specialist FGM Midwife, working in close collaboration with the Consultant Obstetric Team, Designated Child Health Consultant Paediatricians and Third Sector Agency Support.

The clinic will be staffed exclusively by females and held weekly, every Wednesday, at Cardiff Health Access Practice (CHAP), Cardiff Royal Infirmary (CRI).

Anyone affected by FGM or seeking advice around FGM can self-refer into the clinic or can be referred via a health clinician, third sector agency, the police or social services with the individual’s prior consent.

Any child cases will be seen in a separate clinic, which will run adjacent to the specialist FGM service by the UHB’s Designated Child Health Consultant Paediatricians.

The vision for the service is to ensure that all females impacted by the physical and psychological trauma of the FGM practice are empowered to access culturally sensitive and individualised care management, support and advice.

The clinic will work within National Guidelines and Clinical Standards for Specialist FGM Services, facilitating both the physical and psycho-social elements of care. This includes access to psycho-sexual counselling, interpretation services, as well as community advocacy support. Women’s wider health needs will also be addressed, including an opportunity to access cervical screening, breast screening and contraceptive advice. It is hoped that the clinic will be a trailblazer for best practice across Wales.

The clinic received funding from the Iolanthe Midwifery Trust, a registered charity that aims to promote and improve the care of mothers, babies and families through awarding grants and fellowships in support of midwifery education, practice and research.

The Jean Davies Award is made in honour of Jean Davies who served for many years as a Trustee of the Iolanthe Midwifery Trust, stepping down in 2012, and in various roles for the RCM during her career. Jean’s focus in her work as a practising midwife and researcher was to help those families experiencing social and economic disadvantage, mainly in her home region, the north-east of England.

The Jean Davies award is intended to fund individuals or teams working specifically to reduce or to investigate inequalities in maternal health.

1 May, 2018

Today the Royal College of Midwives launches its member consultation on the Government’s pay offer.  The online consultation will run from 1st-31st May 2018. The pay agreement will see midwives and maternity support workers receive pay increases of at least 6.5% over three years, and an additional 1.1% in year two of the deal for those on the top of their pay band.  Some staff will see increases of even more.

27 April, 2018

From Monday April 30th pregnant women in Wales will have access to more accurate screening tests for Down’s, Edward’s and Patau’s syndromes.

Wales is the first UK nation to introduce Non-invasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT)across the whole country as an addition to the existing antenatal screening offer.

The test will be offered to women who have taken up the initial offer of screening and are found to be at a higher chance of Down’s, Edward’s or Patau’s syndrome. The NIPT test is offered as an alternative to an invasive test.

27 April, 2018

The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) has launched a new i-learn module on continuity of carer.  The online learning resource was developed with support from NHS England and aims to help midwives and maternity support workers (MSWs) develop a better understanding about continuity of carer in midwifery.

The Better Births National Maternity Review for England and The Best Start review in Scotland recommend that continuity of carer be used as the central model of care in both countries.

To support our members to better understand the importance of this model of care the RCM saw an urgent need to develop a learning resource that would answer a host of important questions.