RCM releases continuity of carer statement and learning game

By Hollie Ewers on 29 November 2018 Midwifery Continuity of Carer - MCOC Position Statement

The RCM has published a revised position statement on midwifery continuity of carer and has released an interactive game to improve outcomes with the care model.

The publication of Midwifery continuity of carer (MCOC) and the release of the game Continuity Counts form the next stage of the RCM’s continuing work to support midwives and midwifery leaders with implementing the change in maternity care, and to do so in a way that works for midwives, their colleagues and the families they care for.

The statement, which revises the one made in 2016, reiterates the RCM’s belief that this model in midwifery should become the core model of maternity care.

The statement also sets out the conditions that the RCM believes must be in place to ensure that it can be successfully and sustainably implemented. These conditions include ring-fenced investment in its implementation; safe levels of midwifery and wider maternity team staffing; teamworking and mutual respect between different parts of maternity services; and evaluation of the impact of the changes for families and staff.

RCM chief executive Gill Walton said: ‘The RCM supports the recommendations of both the English and Scottish maternity policies, which place continuity of carer at the centre of our maternity care system: that is, enabling a woman to build a relationship with her midwife and a small team of health professionals throughout her pregnancy and into the early days of parenting.

‘We know that continuity of carer improves outcomes for women and babies, and that it can improve job satisfaction for midwives too.’

The Continuity Counts game, which was first revealed at the RCM conference in October, was developed by the RCM continuity team as a way for small teams of midwives to understand more about the caseload proposed in the English and Scottish policies.

The interactive board game sets out the number of births a team of six midwives will attend throughout the year. It then lets them look in more detail at how a month in the life of a continuity midwife might look and feel.

The game has been tested across Scotland and England at ‘train the trainer’ events with senior midwives. It will be available through the RCM network of regional and national officers and organisers, and will be offered to all UK trusts and boards.

RCM director for Scotland Mary Ross-Davie said: ‘Our Continuity Counts game will be run across the country by our network of RCM branches, bringing midwives together to talk more about how continuity of carer might work in a fun way.’

The MCOC statement can be accessed here.

More information on Continuity Counts can read be in the latest issue of Midwives here.