RCM launches partnership with INMO

By Julie Griffiths on 22 January 2018 Brexit INMO - Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation Republic of Ireland

The RCM and the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) have formally launched their international partnership today (22 January). 

The ‘Memorandum of Mutual Co-operation’ between the two unions is aimed at Brexit-proofing midwifery learning and practice.

The document was officially signed by RCM CEO Gill Walton, INMO general secretary Phil Ni Sheaghdh and IMNO president Martina Harkin-Kelly. RCM president Kathryn Gutteridge was due to sign the document but couldn’t due to illness, so RCM board chair Julie Richards stood in for her.

A special ceremony to mark the historic agreement was held this morning at the Embassy of Ireland in London.

The partnership between the RCM and INMO is the first of its kind across borders and the Irish sea. 

In the context of Brexit it will strengthen the ability of midwives to practise and educate regardless of the outcome of Brexit negotiations.

As a result of the new partnership Irish midwives will have full access to the RCM’s i-learn and i-folio, as well as the RCM library and other educational resources. 

Both organisations have also committed to defining employment assistance to members working in the country of the other ie INMO – Ireland, RCM – UK. 

They will also work together to identify areas for common approaches to influence on behalf of their members whether nationally or internationally.

There will also be the opportunity to host joint events and conferences for midwives and MSWs across Ireland and Northern Ireland, as well as explore and provide appropriate assistance on the professional development needs of midwife members on an agreed basis.

RCM CEO Gill Walton said: ‘Today marks a very significant day in the history of both our trade unions and professional bodies. We have come together in the face of Brexit to choose to work with midwives in the Republic of Ireland. My priorities as RCM leader are about, safety, leadership and partnership and that is what this memorandum is all about too.

‘In future we will work closely with the INMO to assist both our members to provide safe, high quality maternity services for women and their families. Irish midwives will also now be able to access high quality learning resources via RCM’s i-learn which will go towards their professional development.’

INMO general secretary Phil Ni Sheaghdha said: ‘The mutual representation rights confirmed between our two organisations is a unique experiment for unions in Europe. It is timely given Brexit and it may set an example for greater co-operation into the future in advancing the rights and entitlements of professional workers in our health services.’ 


Picture from left to right: Julie Richards, Gill Walton, Phil Ni Sheaghdha and Martina Harkin-Kelly