Supporting midwives on the frontline
Advocating for midwives in the UK has been number one on the Royal College of Midwives' agenda. During COVID-19, this has been no different
From pressuring government bodies for adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies to piloting programmes to promote better mental health, the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) has been at the forefront when it comes to ensuring midwives are receiving the necessary support to provide safer, quality care. Gill Walton, chief executive of the RCM, shares her insight into where things stand for midwives during the pandemic in the UK-and what more can still be done.
Safety is always our number one priority whatever the circumstances; the safety of midwives, maternity support workers (MSW), student midwives, and women and babies. This meant moving really quickly to reassure our members, pre-empting the challenges they are facing by providing guidance where possible, as quickly as possible. Also, pressuring NHS bodies and governments for clarity about what services can and should be delivered, and to ensure staff had the right PPE, as well as training and guidance to use them. From the outset, we called for ring-fencing of maternity services so that maternity staff were not redeployed elsewhere. This was crucial to ensure that services could continue and be safe.
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