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26 May, 2017

A team of midwives and maternity support workers (MSW) from Airedale NHS Foundation trust have won a national pedometer challenge organised by the Royal College of Midwives (RCM). The Challenge was part of the RCM’s Caring for You Campaign. Through collaborations with hospitals across the UK this aims to improve staff health and wellbeing.

19 May, 2017

Ashford’s William Harvey Maternity Unit is working with the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) to enhance the support available for midwives and maternity colleagues. The unit is part of East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust

18 May, 2017

Today (Thursday, 18th May) a conference - Policing Pregnancy: Who Should be a Mother? - organised by the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), the Centre for Parenting Culture Studies (CPCS), Birthrights, and Engaging Sociology at Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU), will discuss the issue of alcohol in pregnancy. 

17 May, 2017

Today new research published in European Respiratory Journal indicates that breastfeeding could play a role in preventing wheezing in the first year of life. Researchers studied 2773 infants from the Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development birth cohort. 

17 May, 2017

The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) annual Zepherina Veitch Memorial Lecture will this year be delivered by RCM’s President, Professor Lesley Page CBE.

The lecture which takes place in Oxford on June 6th will be the prestigious platform that Professor Page will also bid farewell to her role as RCM President.

Entitled; Midwives and our future: How can midwives be leaders and agents of change for a better future? Professor Page will consider what individual woman, and babies and families need from maternity services and the distinct and crucial contribution midwives play in meeting these needs.

The lecture will discuss recent UK maternity policy and the emerging science relating to maternal health, the physiological and psychological basis of relationships and wellbeing and the longer term health of women and babies. She will argue that these present midwifery with challenges but importantly opportunities to create the best start in life for women and their families.

Personalised care was high on the recommendations in the recently published; Better Births National Maternity Review for England, so it is fitting that this lecture encompasses the crucial need for midwives to place women and their families at the centre of their maternity care.

Zepherina Veitch was the original founder of modern professional midwifery saw the effects of poverty and inequalities on the health and well being of women and children and understood the important part that a well regulated midwifery profession played in alleviating the impact of these.

This event will also see the investiture of the newly elected RCM President and the presentation of the RCM Fellowships. This event is open to all RCM members from across the UK.

14 May, 2017

Commenting on the result of the RCN’s survey about pay restraint Jon Skewes the RCM’s director of policy, employment relations and communications said: “NHS staff have now seen seven years of pay restraint and with at least another three years on the horizon. Continuing pay restraint is a disastrous, unsustainable policy for maternity services and the NHS. We are working with other NHS trade unions to break the Government’s policy of pay restraint.

11 May, 2017

Today, the Chief Nursing Officers (CNOs) from each of the four countries of the UK, supported by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), have come together to set out what professionalism means for nurses and midwives in a new document ‘Enabling professionalism in nursing and midwifery practice’. 

5 May, 2017

Today thousands of midwives and maternity support workers (MSWs) held RCM events across the UK to celebrate International day of the Midwife (IDM) 2017.

Annually May 5th is the internationally recognised day for highlighting the work of midwives, maternity support workers and student midwifes across the globe.

The theme for this year’s IDM 2017 celebration was Midwives, Mother and Families.

Over the past few months The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) has been encouraging and supporting its members to hold celebratory events to mark the occasion in style with a variety of resources including themed tea party packs.

A variety of events held in all four countries ranged from; a call the midwife themed bike ride, ‘cake and conversation study day’ to many RCM Caring For You themed tea parties and a mother, midwife and baby walk, to name just a few.

The RCM’s ‘Great Midwifery Cake Off’ proved most popular again this year with hundreds of maternity and midwifery  themed cakes baked and now entered into the competition that the RCM runs annually for all its members.

Local events were hosted at  maternity units, local RCM branches and  student midwifery societies with many RCM staff in attendance to celebrate alongside RCM members.

This year’s winner of Maternity Service of the Year at RCM’s Annual Midwifery Awards 2017; Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust received a special visit from RCM Chief Executive Cathy Warwick who joined with them in celebrating IDM 2017 today.

5 May, 2017

One of the countries leading midwives Gill Walton has been appointed as the next Chief Executive and General Secretary of The Royal College of Midwives (RCM). She will succeed Professor Cathy Warwick who is set to retire in August.

The announcement from the professional association and trade union comes as thousands of RCM midwives and maternity support workers (MSWs) across the UK celebrate International Day of the Midwife 2017.

Gill Walton currently holds the post of Director of Midwifery and Maternity services at Portsmouth Hospitals and is a passionate midwife, experienced midwifery leader and manager. She started nursing at University College Hospital, and then undertook her Midwifery training at the Princess Anne Hospital in Southampton. Previously she has held Director of Midwifery posts at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading; Barking Havering and Redbridge; John Radcliffe in Oxford


Gill has also led many transformation programmes for maternity services and been involved in several national maternity related projects.

Currently Gill is involved in a Better Births Choice and Personalisation Pioneer Programme and is actively engaged in setting up a Local Maternity System in Southampton, Hampshire and Portsmouth.

Gill has been involved in national policy and strategy development, including work with the RCM, NMC and Department of Health and actively supports improvement and development in other maternity services.

4 May, 2017

A survey released today by UK parenting website Mumsnet has revealed a variety of problems with healthcare for women who have just had babies.

The survey results which include women’s opinions of postnatal care has been launched to coincide with a new campaign to improve postnatal care, reveals major problems with healthcare for women who have just had babies.

The survey of more than 1200 women who’ve given birth in the UK in the last three years shows that among those who stayed in hospital after giving birth, many reported that it was sometimes difficult to access food, pain relief, drinking water and washing facilities.

3 May, 2017

Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust has become the latest trust with maternity services in London to sign RCM’s Caring For You Charter.

The Charter aims to improve services for women and babies by improving the wellbeing of staff, and is one of the cornerstones of the RCM Caring for You campaign

Launched in June 2016, the RCM Caring for You campaign is encouraging all trusts across the UK to sign up to its campaign Charter.

Signing the Charter means trusts commit to working with the RCM’s health and safety representatives to improve the health, safety and wellbeing at work of  midwives, student midwives and maternity support workers. They in turn will be able to provide even better care for women, babies and their families.

2 May, 2017

Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust is working with the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) to enhance the support available for midwives and maternity colleagues. The Trust’s maternity service has signed the RCM’s Caring for You Charter, which aims to improve the health, safety and wellbeing of maternity staff. This supports and enables them to continue providing the highest levels of maternity care for women and their families.

28 April, 2017

A new model of clinical supervision for midwives in Wales was launched today (Friday April 28th) by Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) Professor Jean White.

Speaking at an event in Cardiff the CNO today announced the introduction of a new employer-led model of clinical supervision for midwives in Wales.

The aim of the new model is to provide support and advice to midwives in Wales giving opportunities for learning and improved practice to provide support to women in choices of care.

27 April, 2017

Survey of midwife lecturers shows many on verge of leaving

There are fears that England’s midwifery shortage will worsen as a new Royal College of Midwives (RCM) survey shows large numbers of midwifery lecturers are planning to leave their jobs.

The RCM surveyed midwifery lecturers in over sixty universities across the UK as part of its Caring for You campaign. Over a third (37%) said they want to leave their organisation in the next two years. This is a real concern as there is a pressing need to train more student midwives to replace those leaving the profession.  This will not be possible without the right number of midwife teachers in our universities, which are already at levels lower than needed.

The survey also showed a similar number of midwife lecturers (35%) saying they have to work 10 or more hours extra unpaid every week.  A worryingly large number (84%) agreed or strongly agreed with the statement ‘I can only get my work done if I work beyond my contracted hours’.

Midwives working in education are facing excessive workloads, particularly around paperwork and administration. There are also additional pressures to publish research and gain extra qualifications without adequate time to complete them.

England is already suffering a serious midwife shortage with the country 3500 midwives short of the numbers needed. RCM research has also shown that England and the other UK countries have an ageing midwifery workforce with many midwives nearing retirement.* Also, many midwives are saying the pressures of their job are forcing them to consider leaving the profession. **

27 April, 2017

Major conference in Cardiff focuses on mental health in pregnancy

The mental health needs of women in Wales around pregnancy are the focus of a major conference this week in Cardiff. It is aiming to highlight the importance of maternal mental health and the impact that poor mental health can have on women and their families. There will be a focus on the best way for health professionals to improve care for women and their families.

The conference at City Hall in Cardiff on Thursday, 27th April 2017is jointly organised by the Royal College of Midwives (RCM), 1000 Lives Improvement and Public Health Wales.

Among the key speakers is Cardiff mother and charity founder Laura Jane Dernie. Laura suffered with depression during and after both of her pregnancies and fully believes that talking about mental health can save lives. Laura founded the charity My Discombobulated Brain. This aims to tackle the stigma associated with mental health and offers support and education to those who are affected by these issues

Vaughan Gething the Welsh Government Cabinet Secretary for Health, Well-being and Sport will also be speaking at the event. He will be outlining the progress the NHS in Wales is making following thee Welsh Government’s £1.5 million investment in perinatal mental health services. Over 200 delegates are expected including midwives, psychiatrists and other health professionals, all of whom work together to deliver mental health services in Wales.

Other speakers include Karen Jewell, Nursing Officer for Maternity and Early Years in the Welsh Government and Jenny Burns, Perinatal Mental Health Project Manager for Two in Mind and Senior Occupational Therapist at Mind Cymru.