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Found 218 results
  1. Content Article
    This BMJ article summarises a selection of new and updated recommendations within The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines on intrapartum care for healthy women and babies.
  2. Content Article
    There are many unheard and under-acknowledged voices and perspectives in the health and social care workforce, and they usually belong to those in the most junior, poorest-paid and precarious roles. All these voices deserve more attention than they get, but those of newly qualified and registered nurses and midwives are especially important given the current retention crisis in both professions. Since spring 2023, the King's Fund have been working with 22 newly qualified - newly registered if they trained internationally – nurses and midwives on a project called Follow Your Compassion. A documentary record of the everyday working lives of these nurses and midwives across a variety of settings across the UK health and care system, the project is a companion piece to The Courage of Compassion (2020), a report by The King’s Fund and RCN Foundation which described the core workplace needs of nurses and midwives, and what must be done to meet them.
  3. Content Article
    In this animation, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) look at speaking up and what this means for you as a registered professional.
  4. Content Article
    Drawing upon the findings of a PhD that captured the experiences of midwives who proactively supported alternative physiological births while working in the National Health Service, their practice was conceptualised as ‘skilled heartfelt practice’. Skilled heartfelt practice denotes the interrelationship between midwives’ attitudes and beliefs in support of women’s choices, their values of cultivating meaningful relationships, and their expert practical clinical skills. It is these qualities combined that give rise to what is called ‘full-scope midwifery’ as defined by the Lancet Midwifery Series. This book illuminates why and how these midwives facilitated safe, relational care. Using a combination of emotional intelligence skills and clinical expertise while centring women’s bodily autonomy, they ensured safe care was provided within a holistic framework. 
  5. Content Article
    Panorama investigates the crisis in maternity care that is putting women and babies at risk. Whistleblowers at a trust in Gloucestershire tell reporter Michael Buchanan about the deaths of mothers and babies, the dangers of understaffing and a culture that they say has failed to learn from mistakes. The regulator, the Care Quality Commission, has said that maternity services at the trust are inadequate, and Panorama has calculated that maternal deaths there are almost double the national average. The trust says that it's deeply sorry for failings in its care and that it's made improvements to its maternity services.
  6. News Article
    Serious concerns about maternity services at an NHS trust have been revealed by BBC Panorama. Midwives say a poor culture and staff shortages at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Trust have led to baby deaths that could have been avoided. A newborn baby died after the trust failed to take action against two staff, the BBC has been told. The trust says it is sorry for its failings and is determined to learn when things go wrong. Concerns about two staff members, both midwives, had been raised by colleagues at the Cheltenham Birth Centre after another baby died 11 months earlier. The birth centre allowed women with low-risk pregnancies the choice of giving birth there under the care of midwives - there were no emergency facilities in the centre. In the event of complications, women should have been transferred to the Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, which is part of the same trust and about a 30-minute drive away. But on both occasions, the two midwives did not get their patients transferred quickly enough. The two midwives on duty for both deaths are now being investigated by their regulator, the Nursing and Midwifery Council. Read full story Source: BBC News, 29 January 2024
  7. Content Article
    This is the video recording of a House of Lords debate on the delivery of maternity services in England, put forward by Baroness Taylor of Bolton.
  8. News Article
    A midwife in New York who reportedly gave 1,500 children homeopathic pellets rather than the vaccinations required by the state has been fined $300,000 by the state's health department. The midwife was identified as Jeanette Breen, who operates the Long Island-based Baldwin Midwifery. Ms Breen reportedly gave the pellets as an alternative to required vaccinations and then proceeded to falsify the children's immunisation records, according to the New York Department of Health. The midwife reportedly began giving the pellets during the Covid-19 pandemic, specifically during the 2019-2020 school year. The majority of the affected children live in Long Island, according to the Associated Press. The health department said that the false records have since been voided, and that the families will have to ensure their students are up-to-date with their shots before they can return to school. “Misrepresenting or falsifying vaccine records puts lives in jeopardy and undermines the system that exists to protect public health,” State Health Commissioner James McDonald said in a statement. Read full story Source: The Independent, 24 January 2024
  9. Content Article
    This is the first edition of this guidance, published by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. It highlights the challenges in maternity triage departments* and defines their role as emergency portals into maternity units. It has been produced in response to a UK Government and Parliament petition in 2021, which requested a national review of triage procedures used by NHS maternity wards, and proposed to mandate the implementation of a standardised risk assessment-based system for maternity triage; assessing every woman within 15 minutes and prioritising care based on urgency. The paper is aimed at stakeholders responsible for developing and improving maternity services. It presents the recommendations for the operational structure and pathways within maternity triage to improve safety and experience for both women and staff, by recommending implementation of the Birmingham Symptom-specific Obstetric Triage System (BSOTS), while recognising opportunities for future research and evaluation
  10. News Article
    A former midwife has told the BBC she quit because she could not live with herself if she provided poor care. Hannah Williams says staff shortages meant she kept patients safe, but sometimes only "by the skin of her teeth". BBC Verify analysis shows that the number of full-time equivalent midwife posts in England has gone up by 7% in the last decade. In comparison, the overall NHS workforce has increased by 34%. The country has a shortage of about 2,500 midwives, and maternity units are struggling with safety concerns. BBC research has also found that some trusts have more than one in five midwife jobs unfilled. The Royal College of Midwives says staffing is the "most important issue" and the gap needs to close. Read full story Source: BBC News, 9 January 2024
  11. Content Article
    Problems in intrapartum electronic fetal monitoring with cardiotocography (CTG) remain a major area of preventable harm. Poor understanding of the range of influences on safety may have hindered improvement. Taking an interdisciplinary perspective, authors of this study, published in BMJ Quality and Safety, sought to characterise the everyday practice of CTG monitoring and the work systems within which it takes place, with the goal of identifying potential sources of risk.
  12. Content Article
    Monica is a project manager for the South East London Local Maternity and Neonatal System. In this interview she talks about her work, including setting up the perinatal pelvic health service across south east London.
  13. News Article
    The nursing watchdog will miss its target to tackle a 5,500-case backlog of complaints as referrals hit a record high. The Nursing and Midwifery Council NMC has admitted it won’t hit its pledge to cut the number of unresolved complaints against nurses and midwives to 4,000 by March 2024. The news comes as it faces questions over the way it handles complaints after The Independent revealed a number of serious allegations, including poor investigations that have led to fears of rouge nursing going unchecked. The newspaper exposes have prompted two independent reviews. Details of the first two reviews have been revealed for the first time and will look at: The NMC’s response to whistleblower concerns, including whether they were treated fairly and whether it acted fairly and reasonably. Any evidence of cultural issues which may have impacted the NMC’s response to whistleblowing. Whether concerns raised are substantiated and indicate a decision-making process by the NMC which is insufficient in protecting the public. Evidence of shortcomings in guidance and training. The senior whistleblower whose evidence prompted the review said: “The NMC has refused to change its approach to the investigations into my whistleblowing concerns to allow me to share and explain my evidence without fear of reprisal. I don’t think it is possible to draw safe conclusions about either how I have been treated or the impact of our culture on case work from reviewing only 13 of our current 5,500 open cases, and 6 closed cases and a selection of my emails.” Read full story Source: The Independent, 16 November 2023
  14. News Article
    England's healthcare regulator has told BBC News that maternity units currently have the poorest safety ratings of any hospital service it inspects. BBC analysis of Care Quality Commission (CQC) records showed it deemed two-thirds (67%) of them not to be safe enough, up from 55% last autumn. The "deterioration" follows efforts to improve NHS maternity care, and is blamed partly on a midwife shortage. The Department for Heath and Social Care (DHSC) said £165m a year was being invested in boosting the maternity workforce, but said "we know there is more to do". The BBC's analysis also revealed the proportion of maternity units with the poorest safety ranking of "inadequate" - meaning that there is a high risk of avoidable harm to mother or baby - has more than doubled from 7% to 15% since September 2022. The CQC, which also inspects core services such as emergency care and critical care, said the situation was "unacceptable" and "disappointing". "We've seen this deterioration, and action needs to happen now, so that women can have the assurance they need that they're going to get that high-quality care in any maternity setting across England," said Kate Terroni, the CQC's deputy chief executive. The regulator has been conducting focused inspections because of concerns about maternity care. These findings are "the poorest they have been" since it started recording the data in this way in 2018, Ms Terroni said. Read full story Source: BBC News, 16 November 2023
  15. Content Article
    *Trigger warning: This report contains accounts of bullying behaviours and consequences and may trigger those who have experiences of bullying. The Say No to Bullying in Midwifery report comprises hundreds of accounts, ranging from students, newly qualified and senior midwives, heads of midwifery, maternity support workers and more. It aims to publicise and share concerns they have raised online. In the numerous accounts shared all areas of the system from CQC, CEO, HR, midwifery management, universities and the unions are described as being complicit, inadequate, disinterested and even corrupt. Accounts also refer to: Unsafe work environments Exit interviews not being performed, recorded or acted upon Staff not being valued Whistle-blowers being demonised until they leave Health and safety issues and truly evidence-based practice ignored with no lessons learned. To order your copy, follow the link below.
  16. Content Article
    Reducing inequalities in maternal health care in England is an important policy aim. One part of achieving that is to ensure that women from Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities, as well as women from the most deprived areas, see the same midwife or midwifery team throughout their pregnancy and postnatal period. Emma Dodsworth takes a closer look at the data to reveal what progress is being made on this.
  17. News Article
    Maternity services at Hull Royal Infirmary have recently been described in a damning report by the health watchdog as chaotic, unsafe and not fit for purpose. Three mothers, who claim staff missed signs of life-threatening conditions that could have killed them or their babies, have spoken to the BBC about their harrowing experiences at the hospital. One woman, a BBC journalist who does not want to be named, said she knew her newborn son was seriously ill within minutes of giving birth at the infirmary in 2021. "As soon as they handed him to me, I noticed something was wrong. He was panting and his breathing wasn't right," she said. Over the course of an hour, she said her concerns were dismissed by the newly-qualified midwife who said his breathing was "completely normal". "She kept reassuring me over and over that's how babies breathe. I felt like I was drowning surrounded by lifeguards," she said. But after being examined by a more experienced midwife, the baby was rushed to intensive care and diagnosed with potentially fatal sepsis. "It was like time stood still. The midwife ripped him off me and she slammed an oxygen mask on his face, called the crash team and he was taken away to the neonatal intensive care unit. "The anger I felt was overwhelming because I'd been saying for nearly an hour he was seriously ill. I was right and he had sepsis." A few months after her son's birth, she read about an inquest into the death of a four-day-old baby who had sepsis and was born at Hull Royal Infirmary. A coroner found that midwives had failed to respond to his infection quickly enough. "My blood ran cold because it was exactly the same circumstances that happened to me and that baby died. I thought they clearly haven't learned anything," she said. Read full story Source: BBC News, 6 November 2023
  18. Content Article
    This is part of our series of Patient Safety Spotlight interviews, where we talk to people working for patient safety about their role and what motivates them. Jenny talks about the challenge of keeping up with and prioritising new guidance and the need to streamline recommendations to ensure they are implemented efficiently. She also discusses the importance of getting the basics, like staffing levels, right and how sea swimming has influenced how she sees patient safety.
  19. Content Article
    Reducing inequalities in maternal healthcare in England is an important policy aim. One part of achieving that is to ensure that women from Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities, as well as women from the most deprived areas, see the same midwife or midwifery team throughout their pregnancy and postnatal period. Emma Dodsworth takes a closer look at the data to reveal what progress is being made on this.
  20. News Article
    Thousands of complaints made against nurses and midwives were rejected by the watchdog without investigation last year as it battles a huge backlog amid concerns rogue staff are being left unchecked. The Nursing and Midwifery Council has rejected hundreds more cases a year since 2018, including 339 where nurses faced a criminal charge, 18 for alleged sexual offences and 599 over allegations of violence in 2022-23, according to data shared exclusively with The Independent. The new figures come after The Independent revealed shocking allegations that nurses and midwives accused of serious sexual, physical and racial abuse are being allowed to keep working because whistleblowers are being ignored and that the NMC was failing to tackle internal reports of alleged racism. And now, a new internal document, obtained by The Independent, reveals more staff have come forward to raise concerns since our expose. Former Victims’ Commissioner Dame Vera Baird KC said the backlog of complaints was “worryingly high” and called for urgent action to tackle it. Read full story Source: The Independent, 19 October 2023
  21. News Article
    A coroner has found neglect contributed to a baby's death at the hospital where he was born. Jasper Brooks died at the Darent Valley Hospital in Kent on 15 April 2021. The coroner found gross failures by midwives and consultants at the hospital and says Jasper's death was "wholly avoidable". Jasper was a second child for Jim and Phoebe Brooks. Due to a complication during pregnancy of her first child, Phoebe was booked in to have an elective Caesarean section to deliver Jasper. But in April 2021 those plans changed overnight. A check-up found Phoebe had raised blood pressure. She was told to remain in hospital and that the C-section would happen the following morning - nine days earlier than planned - when there were more staff on duty. Jasper's parents say the midwives caring for Phoebe repeatedly failed to listen to her and Jim's concerns - that she was shaking violently, feeling sick, and thought she was bleeding internally. "We felt like an inconvenience - no-one wanted to deal with me that night," Phoebe says. "The doctor didn't want to do my C-section, the midwife that's meant to be looking after me, she just doesn't really care. "I remember saying clearly to her, 'my whole body is shaking - something's happening, and no-one's taking the time to listen to what I'm saying or listen in on my baby'." At the inquest hearing, midwife Jennifer Davis was accused by the family's barrister, Richard Baker KC, of "failing to act on signs of blood loss, failing to determine if Phoebe was in active labour, and failing to call a senior doctor when necessary". Jasper was born without a heartbeat, so a resuscitation team was called. But during the inquest, the family learned that further errors were made because the correct people failed to attend the resuscitation. There was no consultant neonatologist on site - a doctor with expertise in looking after newborn infants or those born prematurely. Intubation, the process of placing a breathing tube into the windpipe - which should only take a few minutes - did not occur for 18 minutes. There was also a delay in administering adrenaline to try to stimulate Jasper's heart. Read full story Source BBC News, 24 October 2023
  22. News Article
    Hospitals are still promoting a “natural birth is best” philosophy – despite a succession of maternity scandals highlighting the dangers of the approach. A Telegraph investigation has found a number of trusts continuing to push women towards “normal” births – meaning that caesarean sections and other interventions are discouraged. On Saturday, the Health Secretary has expressed concern about the revelation, vowing to raise the matter with senior officials. Guidelines for the NHS make it categorically clear that a woman seeking a caesarean section should be supported in her choice, after “an informed discussion about the options”. Maternity services were last year warned by health chiefs to take care in the language they used, amid concern about “bias” towards natural births. The warning from maternity officials followed concern that women were being left in pain and fear, with their preferences routinely ignored. The findings come 18 months after Dame Donna Ockenden published a scathing report into maternity care at Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust, which warned that a focus on natural birth put women in danger. Read full story (paywalled) Source: The Telegraph, 23 September 2023
  23. Content Article
    During pregnancy, and up to one year after birth, one in five women will experience mental health issues, ranging from anxiety and depression to more severe illness. For those women experiencing mental ill-health, barriers often exist preventing them from accessing care, including variation in availability of service, care, and treatment. These are often worsened by cultural stigma, previous trauma, deprivation, and discrimination. This document by the Royal College of Midwives outlines recommendations to ensure that women are offered, and can access, the right support at the right time during their perinatal journey.
  24. Content Article
    .As healthcare organisations continually strive to improve, there is a growing recognition of the importance of establishing a culture of safety. This handbook was published by Healthcare Improvement Scotland to support NHS board maternity services to: understand the importance of safety culture. undertake a patient safety climate survey. understand what the survey results are telling them. develop an improvement plan to address areas that have been highlighted. It includes: the Maternity Services Patient Safety Survey. template letters for NHS boards to adapt for local use. an example improvement plan template.
  25. Content Article
    On the 20 February 2019 an investigation commenced into the death of Bethan Naomi Harris who was born on the 16 November 2018 at the St George's University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Bethan Naomi Harris died at Shooting Star Hospice on the 26 November 2018. Her mother's pregnancy had been uneventful. After admission to labour ward labour progressed very quickly indeed and Bethan sustained severe brain injury during delivery. Despite best efforts by the neonatal team she succumbed to her injuries. The Investigation concluded at the end of the Inquest on the 19 November 2019. The conclusion of the inquest was that the medical cause of Bethan's death was (1a) hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy.
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