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ADVANCING PRACTICE Building enhanced midwifery services

Mags Deakin

Specialist Midwife and Enhanced Midwifery Service Lead at Tameside Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

 (October 2016)

As midwives in 2016, we find ourselves in an ever-more challenging environment when it comes to providing effective care throughout the pregnancy continuum. Social deprivation and poverty seem to be common denominators when taking booking histories and, as a result, we see a steady increase in families where there may be multiple social complexities, especially in inner-city areas, which are having an impact on maternal health and/or that of the unborn baby. It is recognised that women with complex social factors often need additional support to engage with antenatal services as social disadvantage leads to vulnerability and affects health and wellbeing (Acheson 1998; Local Government Chronicle (LGC) 1998). This can impact heavily on caseloads, as more time and resources are required to address the social issues that are emerging as more commonplace than medical problems in a generally healthy population of women of childbearing age.

Improving workplace behaviour in maternity services

Jacque Gerrard

Royal College of Midwives, Director for England

Gillian Smith MBE

Royal College of Midwives, Director for Scotland

 (February 2016)

It is tragic that in the midwifery and medical professions we are still witnessing bullying and poor workplace behaviours in the NHS. The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) and Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) have been discussing this since the early 2000s as midwifery and obstetrics feature at the top of General Medical Council (GMC) reporting and NHS surveys. It has come to the point that, as royal colleges, we need to take responsibility, show leadership and do something about this, before waiting for the next set of survey results. Through a joint project, both royal colleges are optimistic that the juggernaut of poor workplace behaviour can be turned around and improved in a generation, if we all work together.

Enhancing and developing leadership in midwifery

Carmel McCalmont

Associate director of Nursing, women and children’s and safeguarding at University

Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust

Elizabeth Bailey

Midwife research fellow at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust and Children and families research, Coventry University

 (February 2016)

Leadership is a word often heard in any workplace, and healthcare services are no different. Much has been written about leadership styles and theories, with a search of one online retailer revealing 153,589 books available on the subject. How many midwives have those books on their shelves? In a time when maternity services are rising to meet new pressures and demands, many commentators are calling for leadership to drive the profession on. How do we, as midwives, reflect on our own leadership style and the impact it has on others? Here we discuss the importance of leadership in midwifery as a profession, and to individuals, regardless of grade or position. We use an example of a project within our service to illustrate the opportunities for leadership to flourish throughout a whole team in order to achieve an end goal.