I have now been in my new post as RCM Director for Scotland for 3 months – it has flown by and I am loving it.
One of my goals for this first year is to get out to all the health boards across Scotland and meet as many RCM members, midwives and support workers as I can. Last week I started with my first visit to the Highlands. It is such a beautiful part of the country and the sun shone as I first went to Raigmore hospital in Inverness and then drove up to Caithness hospital in Wick with Consultant midwife Jaki Lambert.
Wick is a 2 ½ hour drive North of Inverness, I didn’t really know what to expect as I have never been that far North on the mainland, but Wick is a really pretty town with a river running through it and beautiful countryside all around. The midwifery team in Wick are going through a lot of change at the moment as their unit transitions from being a consultant led to a midwife led unit. The team care for around 260 women a year. The unit has a lovely birthing pool with views out to the river and while I was there local women and their babies came in to a baby massage class run by one of the maternity care assistants. It was great to spend time with some of the midwives and hear about the realities of their lives serving their local community. The team are developing their integrated caseload model of care, but need more midwives to join them to make the new model flourish.
For many years in Scotland we have had a full compliment of midwives – in sharp contrast to maternity services in England – but now, as our ‘retirement bubble’ begins to burst, we are finding that we have vacancies in a number of areas, and, particularly in remote and rural areas like Wick, Grampian and Argyll and Bute.
For several years in the noughties we weren’t able to find posts for all of the newly qualified midwives in Scotland and many went South for jobs. This year, the situation is radically different with jobs for all of our newly qualified midwives and still vacancies that are unfilled.
It might feel like a very radical step to up sticks and move to a remote and rural part of Scotland – I know I was quite daunted when I moved from my hospital role in London to a community post in the rural Scottish Borders – but I have never looked back. The team in the Highlands are keen to talk to midwives thinking about applying for a post – they are happy for midwives to test out whether the role would suit them through considering a six month secondment in the first instance, before making a longer term decision.
Imagine, If this was your view on the way to work in 2017:
You can call for an informal chat about roles: Mary Burnside, firstname.lastname@example.org, 07721466373 and Jaki Lambert, email@example.com, 07768023297
Or take a look at the vacancies on https://jobs.scot.nhs.uk/_results.aspx?catID=®ionID=&orgID=&word=midwife