‘Over half of all NHS maternity services now signed up to RCMs Caring for You campaign’

By RCM on 27 February 2017 Caring For You campaign NHS Maternity Services MSWs - Maternity Support Workers Women Midwives Caring For You Charter

This week the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) is celebrating the success of its Caring for You campaign which now has over 50 per-cent of all NHS organisations with maternity services across the UK signed up to its campaign charter.

Since the health and wellbeing campaign launched in June 2016 to date 84 NHS organisations with maternity services have signed up.

The Caring for You Charter aims to improve the health, safety and wellbeing of midwives, maternity support workers (MSWs) and student midwives.

It is hoped this will enable them to continue providing the highest levels of maternity care for women and their families.

An RCM survey, published when the campaign was launched, found that over half of the respondents also strongly agreed or agreed with the statement ‘I am worried about making a mistake at work because I am exhausted’.

Almost half (48%) of respondents to the survey said they felt stress every day or most days.

When signing the charter, organisations are committing to five key principles:

  • Working in partnership with the RCM Health and Safety Representative to develop and implement an action plan about health, safety and wellbeing issues that are important to the maternity workforce and maternity service users.
  • Ensuring that midwives and maternity support workers have access to a variety of shift patterns and flexible working, and promoting a positive workplace culture around working time including taking breaks.
  • Fostering a positive working environment for all by signing up to the RCM and Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG)’s statement of commitment, calling for zero tolerance policy on undermining and bullying behaviours.
  • Enabling midwives and maternity support workers to access occupational health and other organisational policies for their mental and physical health, safety and wellbeing.
  • Nurturing a compassionate and supportive workplace that cares for midwives and maternity support workers so that they can care for women and their families.

Commenting Gill Adgie head of the RCM’s Caring for You Campaign said; “The RCM is delighted with the success of the campaign thus far. To have over half of all NHS organisations with maternity services across the UK commit to our charter is such a fantastic achievement. It’s also a true testament to the hard work of our RCM staff and representatives.

“To date it has been incredibly encouraging to see so many Heads of Midwifery engage with our campaign which genuinely shows their concerns about the health and wellbeing of their maternity staff. We know that better cared for and well rested staff preform better and can deliver the highest level of care to women, their babies and families.

It’s also really positive and inspiring to hear about initiatives and events set up by HoMs for maternity staff to support the Caring For You campaign values. As the campaign continues to grow we are looking forward to working in partnership with more organisations to develop local action plans tailored to the health and well being needs of midwives and all maternity staff.”

RCM’s Chief Executive Cathy Warwick explains what the campaign is all about, view video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6zaGz6Sogew

For further information please contact the RCM Press Office on 020 7312 3456, [email protected].                    

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Notes to editors

The RCM is the only trade union and professional association dedicated to serving midwifery and the whole midwifery team. We provide workplace advice and support, professional and clinical guidance and information, and learning opportunities with our broad range of events, conferences and online resources. For more information visit the RCM website at https://www.rcm.org.uk/.

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