Last year, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC, 2015) issued a revised Code setting out the professional standards of practice and behaviour for midwives. The standards form the yardstick against which midwifery practice is measured, and those who fail to meet the standards can be called to account (Griffith, 2015).
It is essential, therefore, that midwives understand and apply the Code and its underpinning legal principles.
The first standard against which the professional practice of midwives is measured is the requirement to treat people as individuals and uphold their dignity. To achieve this, midwives must (NMC, 2015):
Given the avoidable deaths and poor nursing care highlighted in the Francis Report (Francis, 2013) and Andrews Report (Andrews and Butler, 2014), it is no surprise that the NMC emphasises the need to promote dignity and the fundamentals of care in the first standard of the revised Code.
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