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What’s Going On

Cathy Warwick, CEO
18 March, 2016

What’s Going On

Just back from a great conference organised by the Wales Maternity Network. The conference, Better Together, was focused on work place cultures and the importance of multidisciplinary working and reflected the commitment in Wales to ensuring all maternity services are of the highest quality. The night before the conference I launched the RCM’s Wales manifesto an important document as we head towards the election of members to the Welsh Assembly. Great work going on in Wales – a big thank you to all our members there.

Meanwhile back in England the focus continues to be the National maternity Review: Better Births. The RCM is planning how we contribute to the report’s implementation both ourselves and working with others. There is a real determination to ensure that this report does not gather dust. I have been told that NHS England is establishing an overarching steering group which will oversee the work of workstreams. These will cover commissioning; choice and personalisation; safety, perinatal mental health; transforming the workforce ; information and data; technology; tariff and payment systems; public health and specialised commissioning. Much ongoing work will be pulled into these groups eg the DH/Sands Stillbirth care Bundle shortly to be launched is an important aspect of safety. The RCM is already involved with much of the work that will be covered but is seeking to ensure we are appropriately engaged with each group. As Sir Cyril Chantler, vice chair of the review team, said at a seminar this week it is critical that we work on implementing every aspect of the report. Doing one or two things won’t lead to the transformation that is envisaged in the way we deliver maternity services.

I do hear that there is some cynicism amongst professionals about the possibility of the review’s recommendations being implemented. I think that is a real shame. This is a forward thinking review which could, if implemented, lift England’s maternity services from good to very good or even excellent. I would strongly encourage all midwives to play their part in speaking positively about its possibilities and turning rhetoric into reality! Not easy, I know, when you are so stretched but if, like me, you had had the pleasure of attending the RCM Midwifery Awards last week you would be aware that being optimistic is appropriate. Midwives are doing wonderful things and more can be done if we work together and take a step at a time.

Let me know how the RCM can support you.

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