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30 June, 2017

 

Figures published today (Monday, 3rd July 2017) by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) show an increase in the numbers of midwives and nurses leaving the NMC’s register.  At the same time, the numbers joining the register have slowed down resulting in an overall reduction in the numbers of nurses and midwives registered to work in the UK.

 

30 June, 2017

 

The Government has just announced that it will now fund abortions for women from Northern Ireland coming to have them in England. Abortion is only legal in very narrowly defined circumstances in Northern Ireland.

Commenting, Breedagh Hughes The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) Director for Northern Ireland says; “The RCM is very pleased with this announcement and looks forward to seeing the details of this crucial agreement.

“This is a significant step forward for women in Northern Ireland. We already know that women in Northern Ireland are purchasing abortion pills illegally  online as many cannot afford to travel to the UK to receive the  medical treatment they need.

“This commitment will not only go towards elevating some of the costs involved, but will most importantly offer women an avenue to accessing crucial healthcare and hopefully help them during what can be an extremely destressing time.

In the absence of a functioning legislative Assembly in Northern Ireland, this is a very welcome intervention from the Westminster government which acknowledges the difficulties for women From Northern Ireland in accessing safe, legal abortions.”

30 June, 2017

 

The Government has just announced that it will now fund abortions for women from Northern Ireland coming to have them in England. Abortion is only legal in very narrowly defined circumstances in Northern Ireland.

Commenting, Breedagh Hughes The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) Director for Northern Ireland says; “The RCM is very pleased with this announcement and looks forward to seeing the details of this crucial agreement.

“This is a significant step forward for women in Northern Ireland. We already know that women in Northern Ireland are purchasing abortion pills illegally  online as many cannot afford to travel to the UK to receive the  medical treatment they need.

“This commitment will not only go towards elevating some of the costs involved, but will most importantly offer women an avenue to accessing crucial healthcare and hopefully help them during what can be an extremely destressing time.

In the absence of a functioning legislative Assembly in Northern Ireland, this is a very welcome intervention from the Westminster government which acknowledges the difficulties for women From Northern Ireland in accessing safe, legal abortions.”

30 June, 2017

In the Scottish parliament yesterday the Finance Secretary Derek Mackay, said the Scottish Government ‘has committed to lifting the pay cap’ for public sector workers. Commenting on the statement, Mary Ross-Davie, Royal College of Midwives (RCM) Director for Scotland, said: “This is a move that we applaud, and will be very good news for our hard-pressed and hard working midwives, maternity support workers and other NHS staff.

29 June, 2017

 

Today (Thursday June 29th) the UK’s Chief Medical Officers  for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have released new advice on physical activity for expectant mothers.

The new recommendations aim to reduce issues such as obesity, diabetes and other health concerns during pregnancy. The latest evidence suggests pregnant women should carry out around 150 minutes of 'moderate intensity' activity every week.

The new advice is being issued in the form of an infographic* and has also been aimed at providing midwives, nurses, GPs, obstetricians, gynaecologists with the latest evidence on physical activity during pregnancy.

29 June, 2017

The Scottish Government has published its National Health and Social Care Workforce Plan. Commenting on the plan, Mary Ross-Davie, Director for Scotland at the Royal College of Midwives, said: “This is a welcome announcement that clearly recognises warnings from the RCM about our ageing midwifery workforce and the need to ensure those that will retire are replaced.*

28 June, 2017

 

Tonight the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) will host it’s Annual Dilemma Debate. This years debate is entitled; Equality for all choice for some? Are pressures on healthcare exacerbating the inverse care law?

The debate is set to be a lively and informative discussion  on the relationship between choice of maternity care and social class. At this debate a panel of experts, practitioners and opinion formers will consider whether current pressures on the NHS are eroding the ideal of choice and personalised care for all.

Choice is presented as a universal right, but is the reality that only those with the sharpest elbows and loudest voices able to exercise choice and control over their care? With the emergence of personal maternity budgets, will it be possible to give more women choice or will this simply entrench existing privileges?

The debate will be chaired by journalist Susan Bookbinder and other panellists include;

  • Professor Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent OBE -Head of Maternity, Children & Young People, NHS England.
  • Catherine McLennan - Programme Director, Maternity and Gynaecology, Cheshire and Merseyside Women's and Children's Partnership.
  • Rebecca Schiller - Chief Executive, Birthrights.
  • Zoe Williams - Journalist, The Guardian.

 


 

22 June, 2017

Today research published by the University of Edinburgh says that specialist antenatal clinics for  severely obese mums-to-be can help cut rates of pregnancy  complications,  and that women who received the specialist care were eight times less likely to have a stillbirth.

22 June, 2017

Today (Thursday, 22nd June) a report from MBRACE-UK finds that the stillbirth rate in the UK has reduced by almost 8% over the period 2013 to 2015. A current Government ambition is to halve the rates of stillbirth and neonatal death in England by 2030.

Commenting on the findings, Mandy Forrester, Head of Quality and Standards at the Royal College of Midwives, said: “This is a welcome reduction and things are moving in the right direction but there is still much more to do if we are going to match the lower stillbirth rates of other European countries.

“There is rightly a need to tackle neonatal death rates which have not fallen as much as the stillbirth rate. However, there is clearly a need to put even greater efforts into reducing both.  

“The variation in stillbirth rates across the UK remains a concern. This could be because of the socio-economic wellbeing of communities, and we know inequality is linked to higher stillbirth rates and poorer outcomes for the baby. It may also be in the quality of local services and this needs investigation. It is imperative that we learn from each of these tragic deaths.  Health services must strive to learn from each other about the best ways to prevent this. Sharing success stories and strategies is key to this.

“Some of these deaths will be avoidable and for all losses, we must never lose sight of the devastating impact a tragedy like this will have on parents and families, who will need skilled bereavement care. It is also a concern that some midwives undertaking bereavement care are having the number of hours they can perform this role reduced

 

"We also need to be ensuring women get continuity of carer – that is the woman seeing the same midwife or small group of midwives throughout and after her pregnancy. This way the midwife will get to know the woman and will be more readily able to spot changes in her condition. Fragmented care in pressurised and overstressed services means that things can be missed.

 

 

22 June, 2017

 

The results of a research to be published today (Thursday, 22nd June 2017) by the NCT shows that nearly half (42%) of new mothers’ mental health problems did not get picked up by a doctor or other health professional.

Commenting on the NCT findings, Mary Ross-Davie, a Director at the Royal College of Midwives (RCM), said: “These are worrying results that highlight the lack of support for mothers after the birth. The RCM’s own Pressure Points report in 2014* on maternal mental health identified real gaps in care for women suffering with mental health issues in pregnancy and after the birth, and there appears to have been little progress made since then,"
 

20 June, 2017

A report Everyday Interactions, to be published tomorrow (00.01 Wednesday, 21stJune 2017) by Public Health England (PHE) and the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH), aims to support healthcare professionals – including midwives -  to record and measure their public health impact.

20 June, 2017

Today, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists’ (RCOG) has published its annual report from its Each Baby Counts initiative. The report identifies adherence to best practice on fetal monitoring as the key to reducing baby deaths and brain injuries during childbirth.

The Each Baby Counts report also identifies best practice on fetal monitoring and neonatal care was also identified as crucial to proving best outcomes.

20 June, 2017

A group of midwives from Wales are proudly flying the Welsh flag as they represent the country at the International Congress of Midwives (ICM) in Toronto, Canada this week, from 18th to 22nd June. The ICM takes place every three years in a different country and is the most important and biggest gathering of midwives in the world. The event attracts 2000 midwives from across the globe.

20 June, 2017

Today the Kicks Count charity is  warning of the potential dangers of Home Doppler machines for pregnant women. The machines are used to check for the developing baby’s heartbeat.

19 June, 2017

Today registration opens for Scotland’s Baby Box scheme.  Parents of babies due on or after 15 August 2017 will receive a baby box.Commenting on the initiative, Mary Ross-Davie, Director for Scotland at the Royal College of midwives, said: “This is an initiative that has the RCM’s support and we welcome any commitment by the Scottish Government that will give babies born in Scotland the best possible start in life.

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