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‘Freedom to flourish’: University of Salford student midwives' placement link with the Isle of Man

02 April 2017
Volume 25 · Issue 4


It is recommended that students experience caseloading and continuity models of care as part of their clinical learning (Health Education England, 2013; Nursing and Midwifery Council, 2009). Student midwives from the University of Salford have the option of a placement at the Jane Crookall Maternity Unit in the Isle of Man. This article discusses student midwives' evaluation of an innovative clinical placement on the Isle of Man that facilitates this model of care. This evaluation considers the perspectives of student midwives, service users and midwives following the commencement of this placement link in an island setting that provides continuity of care.

The relationship between the Jane Crookall Maternity Unit on the Isle of Man and the University of Salford developed when midwives from the island accessed the post-qualifying Examination of the Newborn module. The aim of the new practice placement was to enable midwifery students to experience continuity models of care and provide increased mentorship opportunities for midwives who were undertaking the mentorship module. In addition, the students would have the unique opportunity to experience midwifery care and practice in an island setting.

Health Education North West was supportive of the university extending its placement network within the existing funding, so a visit was undertaken by the academic team to make plans. Prior to commencement of the first placement, a meeting took place with the senior midwives and mentors to provide a mentor update session, audit the placement (Nursing and Midwifery Council, 2008) and plan the experience for students. It was agreed that a placement of 3-4 weeks would facilitate a full range of exposure to care throughout the childbirth continuum, allowing the students to follow the women's journeys in a caseloading model that provides continuity of care. The Salford University practice assessment documents support and record the learning experience with competencies and statutory experiences being signed off by the mentors. The head of midwifery ensured that free accommodation was made available, but travel expenses were to be met by the students. This potential limitation may prevent some students from accessing this opportunity.

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