Browse our library of RCM webinars on a broad range of subjects.

This is an introduction to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Baby Loss. The RCM worked with the NHS England and the Maternity Bereavement Experience Measure (MBEM) Team to create this resource series.

A short introduction about the Maternity Bereavement Care Network by Cheryl Titherly from Sands. The Bereavement Care Network enables professionals to share best practice, exchange ideas, share experiences, ask questions and seek informal peer support. Registration is required to take part in the discussions or access the resources.

This has been recorded as part of the Maternity Bereavement Experience Measure (MBEM) Project team who have produced a questionnaire for gathering feedback with supporting resources.

Midwives, obstetricians, anaesthetists and theatre staff at Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust worked collaboratively with members of the Maternity Services Liaison Committee (‘Birth Voices’) to produce this film showing a “baby friendly Caesarean Birth”.

The film was inspired by the experience of a woman giving birth at another Trust who was told she couldn’t have delayed cord clamping or skin to skin when she had her baby by elective Caesarean Section. The midwives felt they had to do something to empower women, midwives and medical staff to challenge and change this.

The film builds on the research that Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells has already conducted and published on skin-to-skin contact in the operating theatre after elective Caesarean Section and its impact on increasing breastfeeding rates at 48 hours and six weeks. This research was published in the British Journal of Midwifery in January 2016.

This information was provided by the team at Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust in April 2016.

Professor Vanora Hundley and Dr Susan Way present their work on the match-funded opportunities for doctoral studentships in midwifery. Taking a different approach from the usual PhD studentships, this doctorate is structured to enable students to spend two days a week in clinical practice and three days conducting research.

Vanora Hundle is a Professor of Midwifery in CMMPH and the Deputy Dean for Research and Professional Practice in the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, Bournemouth University and temporary advisor to the World Health Organisation. Dr Susan Way is an Associate Professor and Deputy Head of CMMPH in the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, has held posts as Lead Midwife for Education (LME), chaired the LME Executive Group and has worked as a Midwifery Advisor for the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

Surviving sexual abuse is a major life event and one that can shape the choices and decisions that women make.  There is no doubt that we will encounter women in our services since the prevalence is as much as 1:4 and even higher in some areas and communities.

Kathryn Gutteridge has been researching and providing care in this area now for more than 30 years.  She has campaigned through her collaboration with other healthcare professionals and has presented her work in Universities throughout the UK and in international settings.  Kathryn founded SANCTUM midwives as secure group of midwifery survivors like herself who share their experiences and challenges within maternity.  Kathryn has advised and worked with National Education Scotland to produce an online resource for all healthcare professionals to enable their practice when working with survivors.

This webinar highlights some of the useful ways to assist survivors in their journey through our maternity services. 

Epilepsy is a neurological condition and affects about 1 in every 100 people so is surprisingly common yet is also poorly understood, partly because there are around 40 different types. People with epilepsy are often discriminated against due to lack of information and women in particular can be especially vulnerable when trying to conceive and then on-going through their pregnancy.

Kim Morley is a midwife specialising in providing care to women with epilepsy. Based in Hampshire, she runs a unique clinic alongside her obstetric colleagues, personalising care for this often forgotten group of women. Kim provides holistic midwifery care to her caseload, many of whom receive continuity of care from her from the preconception years to motherhood.

Donna Ockenden is a member of the Maternity Bereavement Experience Measure (MBEM) project team.

In this video, she shares information about the MBEM questionnaire, the training and wide engagement that is required to sustain excellence in maternity bereavement care.

As part of the Better Births Initiative, we have been working with midwives and maternity units to understand how design thinking approaches can be applied to maternity care. 

In 2015, we worked with the Design Council to apply design thinking approaches to maternity care. Read more about the project

In 2016/17, we worked with Sheffield Hallam University and NIHR Yorkshire and Humber CLAHRC to support two maternity units in England to implement codesign projects. Contact us to find out more.

In 2017, we have initiated a codesign project with student midwives re-designing the evidence/practice connection. 


The way in which we design the space, service and care that we provide for women during the antenatal, intrapartum and postnatal period may impact on access, their experience and outcomes. Many midwives, maternity support workers and other health professionals are actively working on changing the way in which care is provided to meet the needs for particular groups or for all the women who are accessing the service. This may be in response to a community or hospital-wide initiative or to solve problems and issues they have observed themselves. When this happens, health professionals are in some way going through all or part of what we call the design thinking process.

Design thinking is a creative process which can be applied within maternity services by anyone interested in working through a problem or issue that can improve care or experience. This is mainly about approaching the problem in a number of manageable stages including define, research, visualise and prototype, test, implement, and evaluate. The approaches used can include observations, interviews, and brainstorming including as many different groups as possible and thinking about the design from the end-user’s perspective.

It is important to remember that design thinking can be applied to small and big challenges, and the end result will in some way make a positive difference to those who are using the service or even those providing them including the midwives, maternity support workers, doctors and other health professionals. The process can be applied in small stages and does not necessarily need a great deal of resource to get started.

Design thinking in healthcare is not new and there are many approaches that could be perceived to be similar. Discussions on applying these principles can be found in key publications such as King’s Fund and other organisations.

Examples of projects applying the principles of Design Thinking

Designing a better A&E

The Design Council have been working with the NHS and the public to address some health topics and one example of their projects are shown below.

Knee High Design Challenge

This project was looking at the differences that can be made for families of children in the first five years of life including the nine months of pregnancy, specifically in the Lambeth and Southwark areas in London. Working in partnership with Guy’s and St Thomas Charity and Lambeth and Southwark Councils, a challenge was created for anyone with an interesting solution to come forward and pitch their idea.

The Knee High Design Challenge teams are showing new approaches to this and there are couple of entries with relevance to maternity care highlighted here:

• The Good Enough Mums Club wanted to increase wellbeing of mothers and challenge the stigma around postnatal mental health. They deliver theatrical performances, workshops and online resources. One in five. free tickets available free through community networks and referrals for their theatre shows and mothers are encouraged to share their stories of motherhood in the workshops. These activities and the online resource aim to tackle some of the isolation that can go with motherhood.

• Creative homes is another winning idea and is a home-visiting service where trained artists work with the families to address some of the stresses with playful solutions. This can range from the clutter inspector, tooth fairy for brushing teeth, and dream catcher for bedtime routines.

The King’s Fund published reports on design thinking including Jocelyn Cornwell on designing empathy into services and Jeremy Myerson on how design thinking can support and influence innovation in healthcare.


This RCM webinar covers the setting up and running of a specialist bereavement service with tips and tricks for implementation.It is presented by Sam Collinge who is managing a specialist service in Coventry.

Sam has worked towards improving the experience for women and their partners during the time of bereavement. She is also one of the Jake’s Midwives working across the UK and will be able to share the importance of developing specialist roles in this field.

The Midwifery Unit Project, led by the University of Nottingham, has examined the availability and usage of midwifery units and is also investigating why some services have opened and then closed midwifery units over the past 10 years. This repeats the Birthplace Mapping exercise undertaken in 2010. Only 11% of women in England have their baby in a Midwifery Unit (MU). This is despite very good evidence that having a baby in a MU results in better outcomes than having a baby on a traditional labour ward.

This recording is an opportunity to hear about the findings from stage one of the research project and the current perspectives from the team. The presentation is given by Dr Denis Walsh, Associate Professor in Midwifery at the University of Nottingham and Leanne Stamp covering the service user perspective as part of the research team.

This webinar took place in June 2015 and was about the RCM’s global work, the outcomes from the global twinning project which contributed to strengthening of midwifery associations in Cambodia, Nepal, and Uganda.

With experience in recruiting and supporting midwives from the UK to get involved in global work as well as organising exchange visits and educational opportunities, Joy and Eleanor provide an overview of some of the high and low points of supporting midwifery outside of their borders in low resource settings.

Nationwide, the number of women with significant fear of birth is rising. Buckinghamshire Healthcare Trust identified that there are a growing number of women reporting significant fear of birth.

However, many of these women were not disclosing this fear and were not being referred for additional support until it was too late in pregnancy to provide effective support for them. Louise Randall is a Consultant Midwife Trainee, in the Thames Valley, currently working at Buckinghamshire Healthcare Trust and she presented this webinar covering the process of designing and implementing a tool to help identify women early in pregnancy, to ensure a more timely referral for psychological therapies and supportive birth planning.

Helen Leonard and Amanda Puchulski from Bedford Hospital share their experience in realising the need for establishing a pathway for Vaginal Birth After Caesarean (VBAC) in water.

They identified a gap in their service for women aiming for a normal birth after a caesarean section and researched and wrote a guideline collaboratively with all members of the maternity team.They also devised a training programme for midwives empowering them to enable women to use the pool, and created a business plan in order to fund raise for the pool itself. Helen and Amanda will share their step by step process and will also include tips on how to successfully bid for central government funds. This project was shortlisted for the RCM Annual Awards 2015.

As many as one in five women experience mental ill health during pregnancy or in the year after birth, covering a wide range of conditions including depression, anxiety or in some cases post-partum psychosis.

Presented by Kate Tilbury, Clinical Team Leader from iESO Digital Health, this webinar highlights the research and practicalities of providing an online Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) service for women experiencing postnatal depression, stress and anxiety. Kate provides a step by step guide on how patients meet with accredited therapists in a secure and virtual therapy room and their work with commissioners and service providers to provide access to this online CBT service.

Kate Tilbury is an accredited CBT therapist with a background of providing therapy, supervision and managerial roles in various National Health Service (NHS) trusts across the United Kingdom. Kate also works for the University of Exeter supervising trainee Psychotherapists and is responsible for the global therapist training and supervision programs at iESO Digital Health. IESO are commissioned as part of the IAPT service to deliver Online Talking Therapy on behalf of the NHS in many areas across the UK.

Louise Wenzel Petersen and Louise Paddison present their work on the introduction of sterile water injections for women who experience persistent lower back pain in labour at Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust.

They explain their robust process for examining the evidence, attending and delivering a training programme for midwives and the safe introduction of this option of non-pharmacological pain relief for women. Louise Wenzel Petersen and Louise Paddison are qualified midwives who have worked actively to introduce Sterile Water injections in the birth centre across the Trust.

This RCM webinar discusses the scale, costs and risks of maternal obesity and describes opportunities for midwives to support women to manage their weight without harming their relationship.

The session is presented by Jennifer Percival, Nurse, Midwife, Health Visitor, counsellor and author who works as a national behaviour change trainer and hosted by Rupa Chilvers, RCM Better Births Advisor. It provides information about how to assess women’s readiness to change, help women to take realistic first steps and how to increase their confidence in maintaining changes long-term.

In this interactive webinar Gill Phillips and Florence Wilcock share their motivation for the creation of #MatExp, the development of “Whose Shoes?”® and how it came to be used in the national Maternity Review as well as bring us up to date with what #MatExp has been up to.

Participation from staff, women and families has been at the heart of this project and this presentation will be an opportunity to find out what works for engagement and the impact that continues to be made.

Gill Phillips is an international speaker and the inspirational developer of “Whose Shoes?”®. She has 30 years experience in social care working in local government. Florence Wilcock is a Consultant Obstetrician, Chair of London Maternity SCN Experience Subgroup and together they are the co-founders of #MatExp. You can see an early video on the #MatExp project below (from 2015).

Introductions from the Maternity Bereavement Experience Measure (MBEM) Project Team and the development of the questionnaire. The resource is available online here.

The RCM worked with the NHS England and the MBEM Team to create this resource series.

Introductions from the Maternity Bereavement Experience Measure (MBEM) Project Team and the development of the questionnaire. The resource is available online here.

The RCM worked with the NHS England and the MBEM Team to create this resource series.

Introductions from the Maternity Bereavement Experience Measure (MBEM) Project Team and the development of the questionnaire. The resource is available online here.

The RCM worked with the NHS England and the MBEM Team to create this resource series.

This RCM webinar is by Hannah Rayment-Jones is the research midwife on the recently published evaluation of childbirth outcomes of a caseload model of midwifery. The team in the study specifically cared for socially disadvantaged women in London. She is presenting the outcomes from her study and giving details on how care was organised for the teams in the study. The presentation covers how the study was carried out and what the findings means for how services can be organised for socially disadvantaged women.

Find out more about how you can help women to exercise their rights at work, assist them in getting time off to attend antenatal appointments or to get adjustments to their job to protect their health during pregnancy.

Government research has found that one in nine women lose their job as a result of unfair and unlawful treatment at work and poor management of health at work is all too common for pregnant women. Knowing what women’s rights are and where they can get support is one way we can make a difference in maternity care.

Katie Wood works with Maternity Action, which provides telephone advice and online information about maternity rights at work, in the benefits system and charging for NHS care.

This webinar presents observations about the prison environment and systems, and findings from interviews with women who are currently in prison and those who have experienced birthing their babies whilst in detention. This research is being carried out at the University of Hertfordshire covering prisons in England and is an opportunity to explore the role of the midwife caring for childbearing women in prison which can be multifaceted and emotionally demanding.

Laura Abbott is a Senior Lecturer in Midwifery at the University of Hertfordshire and completing a professional doctorate looking at the experience of pregnant women in prison. She has trained as a Birth Companion and volunteers with the charity facilitating pregnancy groups in prison and supports women giving birth and in the post-natal period. Laura was awarded The Jean Davies 2014 Iolanthe Midwifery Trust and RCM award for her inequality work with women.

Cate and Ruth outline the different ways in which they promote engagement through social media, the setting up process as well as the pros and cons. They also discuss how it can work in your unit or team as well addressing some of the practical issues including governance and systems.

Whether it is about developing research skills and expertise or for career progression, this webinar gives you more information on the opportunities for research funding in the NHS as well as some important tips and tricks for applications. Although the process for applying for research or fellowship grants can be daunting, there are many support services in place from research design to developing a clear course of action and the webinar will provide an overview of the available resources.

Dr Julie Hapeshi is the Deputy Director of the NIHR South West Research Design Service, and also the Associate Director for Research and Development at Gloucestershire Research Support Service. As part of her roles, she has provided assistance to healthcare professionals preparing research proposals and submitting as well as preparing for interviews as part of research grant applications.

This RCM webinar is with Jude Jones and Nicolette Peel who have a vision about the impact that student midwifery societies can have for student midwives, and ultimately women and their families. This webinar covers the role, development of of activities and events, the opportunities that running a society has given for those involved.

This webinar is presented by Serena McLean on the launching of a new home birth service in her trust. She explains the gap in the service that was identified, how the research underpinned the service development and describes how the Peterborough home birth team came into being. Inevitably there were some challenges along the way and Serena shares how she and her team maintained their focus.

Gestational diabetes is becoming an increasingly common complication for some pregnant women. This webinar uses a case study to explore the midwife’s role regarding the detection of gestational diabetes and its on-going monitoring. It highlights why it is important to include relevant information when planning appointments for glucose tolerance tests with women and explain the importance and relevance of continuity of midwifery care. This is discussed in terms of education regarding blood sugar monitoring, teaching insulin administration, providing support with colostrum harvesting and discussion of care plans for diabetes care for women. This is so that they know what to expect in labour or prior to elective caesarean section if appropriate.

Sara Stride has been interested in diabetes since qualifying as a midwife in 1988 and became a Diabetic Specialist Midwife in 2010 and has continued to work in the diabetes clinic since becoming a midwifery lecturer in 2014. She provides diabetes education for midwives and student midwives both at the Trust and at Bournemouth University.

In this RCM webinar, Kirstie Coxon talks about her work on place of birth and making informed decisions. In addition to developing a free-to-use resource, she has also carried out research on what influences the decision on where to give birth. The webinar will cover topics such as how best to communicate the information from the Birthplace study, what women say about their choices, and how their previous experience influences future decisions.

This is a short animation highlighting the emotional experience of one couple as they sought fertility treatment and the impact of this experience on their lives (by Fertility Network UK).

This series is about recognising and acknowledging the additional support that women and families may require following their experience with infertility and subsequently becoming pregnant. With thanks to Katie Eaves, Midwifery Educator and Labour ward coordinator who is passionate about providing support for pregnancy after infertility/ assisted conception. 

In this RCM webinar, Gill outlines the development process for the app to assist women and families with decision-making on place of birth as well as the barriers and facilitators for using digital approaches for engagement in maternity care.

Helen Cheyne and John Bowers, University of Stirling, present their work on a tool to support redesign of postnatal services. PRAM (Postnatal Resource Allocation Model) aims to support clinicians and service managers to make transparent, evidence-informed decisions about allocation of resources in postnatal care.

Helen Cheyne is the lead in Maternal & Child Health Research at the Nursing Midwifery & Allied Health Professions (NMAHP) Research Unit and is an RCM (Scotland) Professor of Midwifery. John Bowers is a Professor at the Management, Work & Organisation Division and uses modelling to inform resource allocation and management systems in a number of settings from offshore oil to healthcare. Published information on PRAM can be found online. PRAM was funded by the Royal College of Midwives, The Scottish Government Chief Nurse’s Office and Knowledge Transfer Partnerships.

Elaine Moore has been leading the work to provide a holistic service for women and their families identified as vulnerable and utilising the High Risk Protocol from pregnancy to postnatal. This is a multi-agency service working to share information and provide seamless care. This webinar is an opportunity to find out more about the service, what makes it work, the challenges and the high points.

This online presentation by Julia Gudgeon and Ben Howell is an opportunity to hear from the NHS Digital team on the progress being made specifically on the harnessing digital technology workstream and how this will benefit women and frontline staff.

The England Better Births report states that unbiased information should be made available to all women to help them make their decisions and develop their care plan. This should be through their own digital maternity tool, which enables them to access their own health records and information that is appropriate to them, including the latest evidence and what services are available locally. To support sharing of data and information between professionals and organisations, use of an electronic maternity record should be rolled out nationally. Providers should ensure that the woman shares and can input the information that is important to her.

NHS Digital is leading on the MTP Workstream 7 programme which current involves the following projects:

  • Enabling digital tool(s) for use by women in line with the Better Births vision: Whilst previously focusing on the feedback from women and health care professionals requesting access to safe and accurate information the programme is now focusing on a strategic solution that will support maternity transformation going forward.
  • Using a “capture once use many” approach to a digital maternity service by standardising data to create interoperable records to support high quality safe care during the pregnancy journey regardless of location.
  • Digital maturity : appropriate adoption and uptake of technology. Create a supportive framework for growing digital maturity and capability in Maternity Services.

For more information about the Maternity Transformation Programme or access the resource pack for Local Maternity Systems.

This RCM webinar is an opportunity to find out more about how data can be used to support service delivery and development. It is presented by Maggie Davies (Consultant Midwife) and Christine Buckland (Clinical Governance Officer) at Neath & Port Talbot Birth Centre in Wales. Maggie and Christine bring a wealth of knowledge on the practicalities as well as the strategic relevance for the data both for local and national use.

Introductions from the Maternity Bereavement Experience Measure (MBEM) Project Team and the development of the questionnaire. The resource is available online here

The RCM worked with the NHS England and the MBEM Team to create this resource series.