RCM at TUC Congress 2019

on 02 October 2019 TUC Perinatal Mental Health NHS Brexit

From the 8-11 September 2019 the RCM attended TUC Congress in Brighton. The delegation (pictured) consisted of:

• Jon Skewes, Executive Director, External Relations
• Gill Adgie, Regional Head, North
• Abbie Aplin, Regional Head, South (Observer)
• Alice Sorby, Employment Relations Advisor
• Natalie Linder, RCM Board member
• Pauline Twigg, RCM Board member
• Sarah Jones, RCM Member’s Champion, Board member

The RCM's two motions to Congress were calling for better perinatal mental healthcare and the suspension of NHS charging for migrant women. We used our speeches to highlight the shortage of specialist perinatal mental health midwives and the impact of NHS charging on the health of vulnerable migrant women and their babies. Both motions passed unanimously.

To coincide with our motion on migrant charging Maternity Action released their new report, Duty of Care? The impact on midwives of NHS charging for maternity care, based on interviews with midwives around England. The RCM along with Maternity Action held a fringe meeting at Congress to discuss the issue.

The RCM submitted an amendment and spoke as part of a composite motion on Brexit stressing the negative impact on the NHS of a no deal Brexit, new immigration hurdles deterring EU healthcare professionals from coming to work in the UK and the risk of a no deal Brexit opening up the NHS to a trade deal with US health corporations. The composite passed.

We also seconded a motion from the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) on NHS and workforce funding and supported a motion from the British Dietetic Association on the Healthy Start scheme. Both these motions were passed unanimously.

Abbie Aplin said: "I recently joined the RCM and this was my first time attending TUC Congress, it was amazing to see the support and comradery between the RCM and the other health unions in the formal and informal settings. The RCM spoke passionately on behalf of its members about topics that effect them such as Brexit and the workforce and also on key issues effecting women and families including Perinatal mental health services, and the Suspension of Charging for NHS Maternity Care."

Sarah Jones added: "Attending the TUC as the Members Champion and new Board member was a motivating experience which energised my commitment to the role of RCM WPR to support midwives in their work. It was a fantastic opportunity to network and provide support to other unions in the Health sector and the wider world of work, to make a positive influence to working lives."