Kirkup BLondon: Stationery Office; 2015

Respect leads to respect

02 May 2015
Volume 23 · Issue 5

Since the publication of the Kirkup (2015) report, midwives have expressed concern to me that the recommendations will impact negatively on their ability to practice autonomously. This concern has, in part, arisen from statements made about inappropriate risk-assessment and the failure to refer in a timely manner.

Let's look at the recommendations (Kirkup, 2015: 185):

On the face of it what have midwives got to worry about? These recommendations only emphasise the importance of what is known. Team-working and quality communication between all professionals are fundamental to safety in maternity services. Surely most maternity services already have these protocols in place? Surely these are agreed by a multidisciplinary team and describe a dynamic framework in which midwives discuss choices and care needs with women antenatally and during labour; a framework in which midwives and medical staff work together to ensure timely consultation and referral.

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