The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) is launching its new Future Midwifery Standards, which will set out what the next generation of midwives will know and learn, in Belfast in January.
As the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife kicks off, the celebratory event, held at Queen’s University, is the culmination of two years of work engaging with women, midwives, student midwives and other health professionals to transform midwifery care for everyone.
The standards set an evidence-based benchmark for the profession, creating a foundation for midwives of the future to receive a first-class education and reflect the transforming health and care world in which midwives work.
They place an increased focus on continuity of care and the importance of midwives being a constant presence throughout a woman’s pregnancy, labour and beyond, ensuring their needs and preferences are met.
They also highlight the importance of ensuring midwives have the right knowledge and skills to identify the individual mental health needs of women as early as possible, as well as the importance of working in collaboration with multidisciplinary teams to provide evidence-based, compassionate and appropriate person-centred care.
Speakers at the special NMC ‘My Future, My Midwife’ event include Fran McConville, Midwifery Advisor at the World Health Organisation, and Dale Spence, Midwifery Officer who is representing the Department of Health in Northern Ireland.
Professor Charlotte McArdle, Chief Nursing Officer for Northern Ireland said:
“I welcome the launch of New Future Midwife Standards, as we embark on a new decade with a new Government this is undoubtedly an exciting time for midwifery in Northern Ireland. We have the opportunity to make a lasting and positive difference to the lives of women, babies and families.
Regionally we have much to be proud of and celebrate both past and present and I look forward to the successful implementation of the Future Midwife Standards here.”
Karen Murray, Director for Northern Ireland at the Royal College of Midwives, said:
“These standards will ensure that our midwives are trained and equipped to offer women like Mary-Kate the best possible care. Mary-Kate’s experience highlights the critical part that continuity of carer can play in ensuring safe and personalised care. It also shows how continuity helps to build that crucial relationship between the woman and her midwife, shown by that between Mary-Kate and Aisling.
“The focus in the standards on continuity is important and welcome. With these standards and the right numbers of staff and resources in place, I look forward to our maternity services proving the safest care to our mothers, babies and their families.”