This is a collaborative press release from the Association of Radical Midwives, Association for Improvements in Maternity Services, and The Positive Birth Movement
Midwives and parents demonstrate to save the midwife
5th May, 11.00 International Day of the Midwife
Nursing and Midwifery Council, 23 Portland Place, London W1B 1PZ
- Women and families demonstrate to highlight the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) is unfit for purpose and causing harm to the public.
- Midwives challenge the NMC’s understanding of the profession and highlight how this impacts midwives and the public.
- The protesters are concerned that statutory supervision of midwives has been ended, and the Midwifery Committee of the NMC replaced by an advisory panel only.
- Women and midwives are angry with the NMC decision to restrict women’s right to choose an independent midwife.
- Midwives and parents are demonstrating to highlight that these changes are putting both women and midwives at risk and calling for action.
- The Association of Radical Midwives and The Association for Improvements in the Maternity Services request a meeting with the Secretary of State, Jeremy Hunt, to discuss concerns regarding the NMC.
Parents, midwives and health professionals are meeting outside the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) on International Day of the Midwife, 5th May 2017, to highlight rising concerns over the NMC’s ability to regulate midwives and make decisions pertaining to midwives.
Katherine Hales, National Co-ordinator of the Association of Radical Midwives, said,
The NMC’s role is to ensure safe regulation of nurses and midwives and therefore to protect the public. However, in recent years the NMC has removed the statutory Midwifery Committee; allowed the removal of Statutory Supervision of Midwifery; given inconsistent advice regarding indemnity to registrants and not considered the full implications of decisions in relation to midwifery as opposed to nursing. They have scapegoated midwives for systemic failures within the NHS and fostered a bullying culture towards midwives and women. We believe these actions will result in harm to women in the UK as well as an erosion of the midwifery profession
With the loss of the Local Supervising Authorities, investigations into clinical incidents will be managed by Trusts in-house and the demonstrators are concerned that this could lead to even more cover-ups and bullying while Trusts and the NMC try to evade responsibility for systemic failings.
Beverley Beech, Chair of The Association for Improvements in Maternity Services (AIMS), said,
The NMC has consistently shown a lack of understanding of midwifery and the needs of the public. Jacqui Smith, CEO of the NMC states that she is making decisions in the interests of public safety, but the proposed changes will do nothing of the kind.
Already, mothers are looking for alternatives to care provided by NHS trusts when their needs are not met, but the NMC’s ruling on independent midwives’ indemnity arrangements means that for many women even this choice has now been removed, at least until after the outcome of legal proceedings. Plus the loss of statutory midwifery supervision which will have a great impact on women’s choices. This is in stark contrast to the recommendations of the recent maternity review, Better Births, which is striving for more choice, individualised care planning and therefore safer maternity care.
Milli Hill, founder of the Positive Birth Movement (PBM), said,
We cannot have positive birth experiences without a positive regulation of the midwifery profession itself. At the PBM we are increasingly hearing from women who are finding it hard to get the births they want in an overstretched system but are also being told they cannot opt out and use an Independent Midwife either. This erosion of choice is extremely concerning.
Our Mission is to provide support, information, leadership and practical assistance for midwives, student midwives and others so that maternity services are woman-centered, compassionate and human-scaled.
AIMS… at the forefront of the childbirth movement for more than fifty years.
- Working towards normal birth
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- Raising awareness of current research on childbirth and related issues
- Protecting women’s human rights in childbirth
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