We’re here to support you says RCM launching research strategy

on 08 October 2020 Midwifery Midwives RCM Education Research RCM Education

The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) launched its new research strategy during its annual conference this week, aiming to cement the importance of research to midwifery and embed it within the profession.

Announcing the strategy, Gill Walton, Chief Executive of the RCM, said: “Research changes our practice and makes it safer and better, and I am so proud that we are doing this. Research must underpin and drive our work, and it must be the bedrock of everything we do, now and moving forward. However big or small your research project, the RCM will be here to support and encourage you through it.”

The strategy has a three-pronged central vision which includes promoting research, supporting RCM members to develop a stronger midwifery focused research base, and embedding research within the profession and the systems supporting midwives. A key element of the strategy are its three goals of building research capacity within midwifery, strengthening research collaboration, and influencing and showcasing the importance of midwifery research.

Professor Helen Cheyne and Professor Billie Hunter are RCM Professors of Midwifery and have supported and contributed to the development of the strategy. Writing in the strategy foreword they said: “This signals the ambition of the RCM to be an organisation that has research evidence at its core for the benefit of women, babies and families. As midwives now look to the future, there will never be a more important time for this forward-thinking RCM Research Strategy to signal that a new generation of midwives are ready to take the lead in building, and using the evidence base on which maternity care must be founded.”

There is also a focus on highlighting the career opportunities and developing improved career pathways for midwives in research. “We want midwives to know that there are many ways they can also be midwife researchers, be it as a band 6 on a unit, as a professor of midwifery and all points in between”, said Jenny Cunningham, the RCM’s Research Advisor. “We can all be researchers, and we can all do research on a large or small scale. This strategy and the resources of your RCM will support you to do it”, she added.

The RCM’s research strategy is on the RCM website at https://www.rcm.org.uk/media/4365/research-and-development-strategy-_.pdf.