Midwives! Your future is being consulted on – please read and respond before 17th June

Last week the NMC sent an email to registered midwives informing us that the UK Department of Health has launched a consultation seeking views on the proposed changes for midwifery legislation. 

You can respond online here

 Please also read the Draft Statutory Instruments

The Royal College of Midwives are encouraging midwives to commentWe are seriously concerned, and urge you and your colleagues to respond

Here is a summary - for your attention and action: 

The Midwives Rules are being completely deleted.

 - There will be no more statutory supervision, which means that there will be no independent professional support for midwives who are working outside of Trust guidelines (but within professional midwifery competencies and obligations, for example, in supporting a woman who is making a good and safe choice for her and her baby, but which the Trust does not support for cost or standardisation reasons).

 - While the employer may choose to provide and pay for supervision, it is very unlikely that this will be set up as anything other than an extra means of discipline, rather than as an independent professional support system.

 - The loss of the supervisory function, that usually results in supervised or supportive practice if a midwife is not practising at an adequate level, will mean that ALL such cases will need to be refereed to either employer disciplinary procedures, or directly to the NMC fitness to practice system (apparently these cases are already mounting up).

 - The NMC Midwifery Committee is being disbanded. This will mean, as we understand it, that there will only be one midwife representing the whole midwifery profession at the national NMC level.

These are very serious changes. They are being introduced with no evidence that they will increase the safety of women and babies, or the professional capacity, status, and credibility of midwives, and, based on logical deduction, a very strong likelihood that they will do the opposite.

Please all consider these issues, and, if you feel strongly enough about them, spread the word among your networks, and let the RCM/your MP  know!

Professor Soo Downe OBE, Sheena Byrom OBE, Neesha Ridley

Click here for how to contact your MP, and here to contact the Royal College of Midwives