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Found 166 results
  1. News Article
    The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) has not met thresholds required to strike in its vote, it announced today, but physiotherapy staff are set to strike at more than 100 trusts in their first ever action ballot over pay. The trade union announced this afternoon that its ballot had not reached the turnout required to take strike action. 88& of those who voted said they supported strike action, but only about 47% of eligible members voted. Law requires a turnout of at least 50%, the RCM said. It comes as nurses prepare to take industrial action on 15 and 20 December, over pay and safety concerns, with ambulance staff across the GMB Union, Unison and Unite set to walk out on 21 December (and GMB also on 28 December). Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 13 December 2022
  2. Event
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    Interested in sustainability and a Greener NHS? Join the Nursing and Midwifery Sustainability Network and help improve health now and for future generations. Nurses, midwives and care staff have a unique role to play in supporting the NHS’ net zero goal. They are already making tangible changes to tackle climate change while improving care. And together, we can achieve even more. That’s why NHS England is launching a Nursing and Midwifery Sustainability Network. The network will create a space and opportunity to share ideas, successes, and innovative practices and it will help us to address barriers and discuss challenges in order for our professions to make a real impact. Nurse, midwives and care staff prove every day that that they are adept at identifying issues and creating solutions – skills that are immensely valuable in reducing the NHS carbon footprint and delivering the NHS’ net zero goal. Come along to the online launch event and first network meeting to find out more about the network and how you can get involved. Open to all nurses and midwives working within the NHS in England, please sign up using your NHS email. Further information
  3. News Article
    Mothers are being offered water injections by the NHS to relieve pain during childbirth, while in some hospitals midwives are burning herbs to encourage breech babies to turn in the womb. Safety campaigners have dubbed the practices dangerous and say that they amount to “pseudoscience” being offered by the health service. They have called on the chief executive of NHS England, Amanda Pritchard, to ban their use in a letter published over the weekend. At least three trusts in England offer water injections for pain relief, including Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals Trust, United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust and North Tees and Hartlepool Trust. Information on the Newcastle trust’s website describes the injections as an “alternative form of pain relief” while in Lincolnshire patients are told the body’s response to the injections “prevents pain signals from reaching the brain.” The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), which is responsible for setting out which treatments patients should receive, has said the NHS should not use injected water for pain relief. Read full story (paywalled) Source: The Times, 27 November 2022
  4. News Article
    The death of a three-day-old baby could have been avoided if medical professionals had acted differently, a coroner concluded. Rosanna Matthews died three days after being delivered at Tunbridge Wells Hospital in Kent in November 2020. The hospital trust apologised, saying the level of care for Ms Sala and her daughter “fell short of standards”. Ms Sala told the inquest midwives were "bickering" and appeared confused during her labour. She claimed that if she had been allowed to start pushing when she wanted to, instead of waiting as midwives advised, Rosanna would have lived. Rachel Thomas, then deputy head of gynaecology and midwifery, said there had been "errors in communication". Following the conclusion of the inquest, the coroner ruled Rosanna died following a “prolonged period of avoidable hypoxia”, which led to brain damage. The coroner, sitting in Maidstone, also found midwives at the hospital failed to recognise that Rosanna was already unwell with congenital pneumonia. Ms Sala said her daughter could have lived had medical professionals acted differently on the day of her birth. Read full story Source: BBC News, 8 November 2022
  5. News Article
    Two out of five maternity units in England are providing substandard care to mothers and babies, the NHS watchdog has warned. “The quality of maternity care is not good enough,” the Care Quality Commission (CQC) said in its annual assessment of how health and social care services are performing. It published new figures showing it rated 39% of maternity units it inspected in the year to 31 July to “require improvement” or be “inadequate” – the highest proportion on record. Ian Trenholm, the CQC’s chief executive, said maternity services were deteriorating, substandard care was unacceptably common and failings were “systemic” across the NHS. Its latest state of care report said: “Our ratings as of 31 July 2022 show that the quality of maternity services is getting worse, with 6% of NHS services (nine out of 139) now rated as inadequate and 32% (45 services) rated as require improvement. “This means that the care in almost two out of every five maternity units is not good enough.” The report said: “The findings of recent reviews and reports … show the same concerns emerging again and again. The quality of staff training, poor working relationships between obstetric and midwifery teams and a lack of robust risk assessment all continue to affect the safety of maternity services. These issues pose a barrier to good care.” Staff not listening to women during pregnancy and childbirth is a recurring problem, Trenholm said. Their concerns “are not being heard” by midwives and obstetricians “in the way that they should”. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 21 October 2022
  6. Content Article
    The report looks at the following issues: To what extent are maternity services affected by staffing shortages? What impact are staffing shortages having on antenatal care? What impact are staffing shortages having on labour and birth? What impact are staffing shortages having on postnatal care? What impact are staffing shortages having on neonatal care? What impact are staffing shortages having on the quality and/or safety of bereavement care? What impact are staffing shortages having on learning from incidents? What impact are staffing shortages having on the morale and wellbeing of maternity staff? What impact are staffing shortages having on the training and development of maternity staff? What impact are staffing shortages having on the recruitment and retention of maternity staff? What measures are necessary to address staffing shortages in the short term? What measures are necessary to address staffing shortages in the medium to long term?
  7. News Article
    NHS England has this week told trusts it is abandoning a patient safety target ‘until maternity services in England can demonstrate sufficient staffing levels’ to meet it. The Midwifery Continuity of Care model was designed to ensure expectant mothers would be cared for by the same small team of midwives throughout their pregnancy, labour and postnatal care. It was a key recommendation of 2016’s Better Births review of English midwifery services. NHSE’s chief midwifery officer for England Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent championed the policy and guidance on its implementation was issued in October. However, in her report on the care failures at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust’s maternity department, Donna Ockenden said the Midwifery Continuity of Care model should be suspended until more evidence was gathered about its effectiveness and there were enough midwives to meet minimum staffing requirements. Ms Ockenden said patient safety had been “compromised by the unprecedented pressures that Continuity of Care models of care place on maternity services already under significant strain”. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 23 September 2022
  8. Content Article
    The document consists of 25 key principles that should underpin midwifery and nursing practice. The principles span the maternity care, from preconception to the postnatal period, and address the following dimensions of practice: Collaborative practice Informed decision making Proactive planning Emotional safe care Multidisciplinary working
  9. Event
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    Human activity is driving global warming at an alarming rate. Extreme temperatures, air pollution, drought and floods affect all nations – including the UK and Republic of Ireland. This climate emergency is also a health emergency. As nurses and midwives, we must act now as a profession to safeguard our patients and services from the effects of a warming world. This joint Royal College of Nursing and NHS England conference builds on the aspirations of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Join to raise awareness of the impact of care provision on greenhouse gas emissions, and explore the opportunities this challenge presents to improve health and care services. Register
  10. News Article
    A troubled acute trust has been sent a further warning notice after inspectors found severe shortages of midwives were causing dangerous delays to labour inductions. During one day in June, the Care Quality Commission found eight high-risk women at Blackpool Victoria Hospital had waited prolonged time periods for their labour to be induced. They said one woman had waited five days, while another who was forced to wait more than two days despite her waters having broken on the ward. Delays to labour induction can lead to serious safety risks for mothers and babies. The hospital’s maternity services, previously rated “good” for safety, have now been rated “inadequate” in this domain. The overall rating for maternity has dropped to “requires improvement”. The problems were caused by severe shortages of midwives at the hospital, which had struggled to bring in agency staff due to a lack of availability in the area. However, inspectors also said there was a lack of any discussion or attention to the issues within the trust, despite the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch previously highlighting concerns. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 1 September 2022
  11. News Article
    More than two-thirds of trusts have been forced to suspend or pause a high-profile service improvement aimed at reducing neonatal and maternal deaths, because of widespread staffing shortages. HSJ research revealed a majority of trusts have been unable to implement the continuity of carer maternity model, after they were told to look again at whether it could be safely implemented. The model intends to give women “dedicated support” from the same midwifery team throughout their pregnancy, with a 2016 review saying it would reduce infant and maternal mortality rates and improve care more generally. It is particularly aimed at improving care for patients from minority ethnic groups and those with other risk factors, and has been championed by Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent, NHS England’s chief midwifery officer. Key targets around the model were included in the 2019 NHS long-term plan. However, there is consensus nationally that it can only be rolled out safely where there are adequate numbers of staff to do so – otherwise the risks outweigh the benefits. Earlier this year, the final Ockenden report into maternity care failings at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust was critical of the model, and said it should be suspended until trusts have enough staff to meet “safe minimum requirements on all shifts”. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 30 August 2022 Read more about the continuity of care maternity model on the hub
  12. News Article
    The number of midwives has fallen in every English region in the past year, figures show. Numbers dropped by around 600 on top of a longstanding shortage of more than 2000 midwives, according to analysis of NHS Digital data by the Royal College of Midwives (RCM). The RCM said more investment is needed in maternity services to ensure the safety and quality of care, as "even the smallest falls are putting increasing pressures on services already struggling with shortages, worsened by the pandemic". Dr Suzanne Tyler of the RCM said midwife numbers had "fallen significantly over the past year on top of already serious shortages" in England. Dr Tyler said: "The falls across the regions are compounding the difficulties employers are facing to recruit and keep their midwives. "We are raising these issues because we want women to get the best possible care and midwives to not only stay in the profession, but to encourage others to become one. "These figures must shock this moribund Government into action for the sake of women, babies, their families and staff." Read full story Source: Medscape, 16 August 2022
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