Country news: Scotland
Country news: Scotland, from RCM director, Mary Ross-Davie
New midwifery programme: We began the year by welcoming the 19 new student midwives starting their 20-month pre-registration midwifery programme with the University of the Highlands and Islands. All the students are registered nurses – many are from the Highlands and a good number come from our Islands. These students and this programme, led by the lead midwife for education Wendy Jessiman, are going to make a great contribution to our Scottish midwifery workforce.
Think-Tank Day: RCM Scotland is running a day with the Lead Midwives Scotland Group and RCM workplace representatives in March. The day aims to generate action to improve our workplace cultures and make maternity services in Scotland a caring and supportive environment for all members of the team. Areas to be discussed include: using mindfulness approaches to reduce stress, developing great support for midwives in their first year after qualification, and supporting midwives more effectively after difficult clinical incidents. We hope that this day will lead to more local work going on in the boards focusing on improving staff wellbeing.
Best Start implementation: There is plenty of change and activity going on all over Scotland at the moment as the implementation process of the Best start review gains momentum. New ways of working are being introduced, particularly in the Early Adopter boards. While we are hearing lots of positive things, we also know that there are lots of concerns.
The RCM Scotland team want to ensure that we know how the changes are affecting our members and what issues you need us to raise on your behalf at a national and local level. We are therefore holding listening meetings with midwives and MSWs, starting in the Early Adopter boards. Emma Currer, national officer, and I have so far visited Lanarkshire and Forth Valley. We have heard directly from midwives so that we can raise your concerns and ensure that boards are putting in place the right processes and protections.
Over the next few weeks we will be planning meetings in Clyde, Lothian and Highland, so please come along.
Getting involved: Having an active local RCM branch can really help boost team spirit and morale. The RCM provides funding for branches across Scotland every year to run local meetings and fund training for members. Get involved and bring your ideas to your local RCM branch officers – you might be keen on helping to organise IDM celebration activities or fundraising for your local unit through organising staff get-togethers. If you are interested in running local learning events, the role of RCM learning representative would be great for you. Find out who your local RCM branch officers and WPRs are and get in touch.