Introducing our expert clinical advisory group
Getting you the most appropriate, practical clinical advice has been a priority since the pandemic began. To do that, we established our expert clinical advisory group (ECAG) to develop a range of regularly updated guidelines and professional briefings to support you during the pandemic. Led by Birte Harlev- Lam and Dr Mary Ross-Davie, ECAG is formed of 12 midwives working from across the RCM. Here’s a brief overview of what we’ve been up to:
Our joint overall pregnancy and COVID-19 guidance with the RCOG
We’ve joined forces with the RCOG to develop our joint guidance, which is regularly updated based on new clinical evidence and feedback. All our joint publications are purple to reflect our collaboration.
Our joint guidance on antenatal and postnatal services, as well as homebirth and midwife led settings in the pandemic
We know there is concern around appointments and birth settings. To address this, ECAG published guidance on antenatal and postnatal, as well as homebirth vs midwife led setting. These are to help maternity staff navigate and organise appointments and to help them share this information with the women and families in their care.
Our professional briefings
Time is a precious commodity, which is why ECAG has also provided short briefings to cover some key areas of midwifery practice in greater depth at a shorter length. These briefings summarise current evidence for you to support your judgements about the best approaches in your particular localities.
The topics covered are driven by RCM members and Heads of Midwifery:
- Unassisted birth
- Public health
- Perinatal mental health
- The mental health of staff
- Bereavement care
- Antenatal care for women with and without symptoms of COVID-19
And not forgetting the Professorial Advisory Group
We’ve been grateful for the support of a group of leading midwifery professors from across the UK. The newly minted ‘Professorial Advisory Group’ has met weekly since the end of March and has published two rapid analytic scoping reviews on how to consider the risks, benefits and approaches to induction of labour and optimising maternity services during the pandemic.
We will shortly be adding rapid reviews on minimising the separation of mothers and babies, how to support breastfeeding and companionship in labour and birth, and supporting the wellbeing of our maternity care professionals through these difficult times.
We’ve distilled some of our advice into useful infographics that you can print and display in clinical areas. These include tips on putting care and compassion at the heart of the pandemic and advice for women accessing maternity care.
Stay in touch with us
Your input, questions and feedback help shape our work. Let us know what you’d like to see in the briefings or guidance by contacting us through the chat function on our website, calling RCM Connect on 0300 303 0444 or email the ECAG team via COVID19-ECAG@rcm365.onmicrosoft.com.