Midwifery matters at the NMC
By Dr Jacqui Williams and Verena Wallace MBE, Senior Midwifery Advisers, NMC on 24 May 2021 Maternity Safety
Someone recently said that our approach to midwifery practice at the NMC should be to “think once, think twice, think midwife!”
With more than 39,000 midwives on our permanent register, we recognise how important it is to have a positive and supportive relationship with our midwifery professionals, improving their confidence in us as their regulator and reassuring them that their particular needs are understood throughout the organisation.
That is why we continue to strengthen the midwifery voice across every part of the NMC, recognising that midwifery is a separate, unique profession with its own distinct characteristics and requirements.
By working closer with midwifery professionals and students across the four nations of the UK, alongside our midwifery Council member - Justine Craig (midwife and registrant member for Scotland), and our first Council Associate members, midwives Tracey MacCormack and Dr Gloria Rowland MBE – we have co-produced a midwifery plan to guide our work over the next few years.
As the professional regulator of midwives across the four nations of the UK, our regulatory tools – The Code, our Future Midwife Standards, our education and training standards, and our standards for revalidation – are key to ensuring that all midwifery professionals provide the safe, kind and effective maternity care that improves the confidence of the women and their families going through their unique birthing journeys.
Our midwifery panel – set up in 2015 - will also continue to play a hugely important role in giving us the straight-talking, high-level advice needed to make decisions that affect midwives and mothers in the UK.
We also know that we need to improve the understanding of the care and support our midwives provide for women and their families. Our new animation, working with your midwives, helps to do this by explaining to the public what to expect from their midwife.
Importantly, the animation emphasises how we work in partnership with all women and their families, providing continuity of care, listening to their views, needs and preferences, and always caring for women, their babies and their families with compassion, dignity and respect.
For the animations to be effective and reach those who will benefit most from viewing them, it needs to be played in the places where women visit us, such as in community hubs, health centres, antenatal clinics, on the maternity unit, and on Trust/Health Board maternity webpages.
We are incredibly proud of the work all midwifery professionals do. Look out for our forthcoming publication to all midwives which will summarise the work we are doing to prioritise and improve our work around midwifery standards and care.
We would like to thank the Maternity Services Liaison Committees in Wales for suggesting this as a way to feedback to women the outcome of all the work that they inputted into our new future midwife standards. At the time of the consultation on the draft standards we had over 1500 responses from women and users of maternity services commenting, making suggestions and identifying where we needed to improve.