Who are we?

We are midwives, student midwives and others in the UK committed to improving the maternity care provided by the NHS. We strongly believe that all women have the right to a service tailored more closely to their needs, and a sympathetic attitude on the part of their professional attendants. 

We are primarily a support group for people having difficulty in getting or giving good sympathetic, personalised midwifery care. A few of us are working independently outside the NHS, in order to offer a more woman-centred, one-to-one, style of practice, which at present is not widely available within NHS maternity services. There are contacts and/or local groups all around UK, as well as several overseas members.
We are a UK Registered Charity, No.1060525

What are our objectives?

To reestablish the cofidence of the midwife in her own skills as an autonomous practitioner, to share ideals, skills and information, to encourage midwives in their support of women’s active participation in birth, to reaffirm the need for midwives to provide continuity of carer, to explore and support midwives in delivering alternative patterns of care and to encourage evaluation of developments in our field.

How did we start?

In 1976 two student midwives shared their frustration and disappointment with the increasing medicalisation and intervention in maternity care and began meeting regularly for mutual support and study joined by others. In 1978 the group began producing a regular quarterly Newsletter containing informative articles, reports and other items of interest which is now the highly respected quarterly journal Midwifery Matters, written mainly by members themselves. The journal is also on the shelves of a large number of midwifery schools and medical libraries.

Why “Radical”?

In the mid 70s, the majority of pregnant women in UK had labour induced by artificial rupture of membranes (ARM) around the date they were “due”. These initials were used when the group needed a name, using the dictionary definition of “radical”, (roots, origins, basics, etc.) which aptly described the basic midwifery skills which they hoped to revive.

How do we fund our work?

We rely almost totally on membership fees (£30 pa in UK, with an optional half-price concession where appropriate). Our membership form can be printed from this website. Members receive the quarterly journal  Midwifery Matters and pay reduced entrance fee at ARM National Meetings and Study Days. The balance pays a part time secretary, and supports the ARM Working Parties which concentrate on specific midwifery-related issues. A small income is earned from the sale of leaflets and other goods at conferences, study days and at our own meetings. Overseas members (individuals and groups) are welcomed, and pay UK £35 (airmail).

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