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Being ‘with woman’ in contemporary midwifery practice: One Trust's response to the Francis report

02 October 2016
Volume 24 · Issue 10


The report of the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Inquiry largely reminded professionals throughout health care and maternity services of the importance of safe, high-quality, care. Two labour ward matrons at an NHS Trust were inspired by the report's recommendations to create an initiative, entitled ‘Back to Basics’, to raise standards of care and ensure best practice was recognised, maintained and disseminated. The initiative has been rolled out in their hospital and shared with first-year midwifery students.

While the report of the inquiry into the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust (Francis, 2013) largely focused on the failings in the nursing and medical professions, it was also a reminder to the maternity service to review its systems and the quality of its care in line with the Code (Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), 2015). This article will outline an initiative set up by two labour ward matrons at Kettering General Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, entitled ‘Back to Basics’. Sue Davidson and Kathy Patrick reviewed clinical practices in their maternity unit and put in place an initiative to raise standards of care and ensure best practice was recognised, maintained and disseminated.

As labour ward matrons working predominantly in the clinical area, and having read the recommendations of the Francis report (2013) (Box 1), Sue and Kathy felt that a review of clinical practice in their maternity unit was required. They witnessed areas of care that were falling below the standards expected and so developed an initiative which would not only raise but maintain high standards of care. They produced an initial presentation outlining their intentions and presented this to Trust managers, line managers and labour ward coordinators, receiving positive feedback.

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