Everyone has a responsibility to create the environment where issues and concerns can be raised without fear or favour. That starts with chief executives and flows down through leaders and managers to clinical teams. Find out more about how you might approach raising issues and concerns in your workplace and what the RCM will do to support you
The RCM is committed to
- Supporting and encouraging members to use existing mechanisms within their employing organisations to raise issues confidently rather than anonymously.
- Providing guidance for members who wish to raise concerns.
- Promoting good working relations and lines of communication between midwife managers and RCM workplace representatives so that issues are raised in a climate of honesty and transparency.
- Facilitating forums for midwife managers, supervisors of midwives (Northern Ireland and Scotland, clinical supervisor for midwives in Wales), professional midwifery advocates (England) and RCM workplace representatives to share with others, views, evidence, and perceptions about their working environment.
- Directing concerns brought to its attention to the most appropriate office holder and escalate if required.
How the RCM will support midwives, student midwives and maternity support workers (MSWs) if they have concerns at work is outlined in our updated member guidance:
Standing up for high standards - member guidanceDownload here
Standing up for high standards - step by step guideDownload here
The RCM believes that all staff in maternity should feel able to speak out if they have concerns about the quality and standard of care provided, if they suspect treatment or care will or has caused harm, or if they see cultures and behaviours that put colleagues or women at risk. Further information is detailed in our position statement:
Raising concerns - RCM position statementDownload here
The Independent Maternity Working Group (IMWG) is chaired jointly by the RCM and RCOG set up in response to Ockenden. The purpose of this document is to define the terms of reference for the Independent Maternity Working Group, set up in response to the publication of the Final Ockenden Report, on 30 March 2022.
The remit for the IMWG as per Donna’s IEA is to act as a critical friend to those who have responsibility to fund and implement the Ockenden immediate and essential actions (IEA’s). It also aims to:
• Advise on how the planned activity of existing programmes, will achieve the Ockenden IEAs and crucially, what revisions might be required, to ensure they are relevant to the current maternity system and will be achieved.
• Act as a collective voice to amplify the case for change, using our networks to spread best practice and gain evidence of the opportunities and hurdles, using our experience and expertise to support the entire system, from policy makers to individual clinicians, all of whom have a role to play.