Clinicians in the classroom: The consultant midwife
This is the third in a series of articles exploring expert clinicians' participation in teaching pre-registration midwifery students in the classroom setting. This article considers sessions facilitated by a consultant midwife. The role of consultant midwife was first introduced in the UK in 2000 as a senior position within maternity services to provide professional leadership and a senior level of clinical midwifery expertise. A key element of the role of the consultant midwife is education, training and development (
Safer Childbirth: Minimum Standards for the Organisation and Delivery of Care in Labour (Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists et al, 2007) recommended the recruitment of at least one consultant midwife per 900 births in order to provide adequate clinical leadership. However, despite this recommendation, in many individual organisations the numbers of consultant midwives remain small.
The role of consultant midwife was first introduced in the UK in 2000 (Byrom et al, 2009) with post-holders attaining key senior positions within maternity services to provide professional leadership and a senior level of clinical midwifery expertise (Coster et al, 2006). A key element of the role is education, training and development (Department of Health, 1999). Historically, the main focus of the consultant midwife tended to be either normality or public health, but more recently other areas of expertise have begun to emerge, for example, high-risk care. The role is diverse and highly collaborative, with consultant midwives linking with multidisciplinary colleagues in their own Trusts and externally with peers across the UK.
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