‘Success’ as RCM secures protection to maintain midwifery voice within the NMC

By RCM on 25 January 2017 NMC - Nursing and Midwifery Council Midwives Regulation Midwifery Committee

Today the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) was an observer at the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) meeting where they agreed proposals for ensuring that the NMC and its Council are aware of and understand midwifery matters as they relate to the education and regulation of midwives.

The NMC paper Future Advice on Midwifery Regulation was debated today (January 25th) with the overall aim of ensuring that the council has effective arrangements in place to access advice relating to midwifery regulation going forward.

These changes are required following the removal of a statutory requirement for a NMC midwifery committee under a regulatory process currently going through parliament.

The loss of the NMC Midwifery Committee is something the RCM has campaigned against and over 90 percent (91%) of midwives who responded the government consultation on the proposed changes were also against its removal.

Commenting Louise Silverton Director for Midwifery at The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) said: “We are particularly pleased with the outcome of todays discussions which will ensure the voice of midwifery remains within the regulator for the future.

The RCM has succeeded in securing protections and a commitment from the NMC today that will maintain and amplify the voice of midwifery within the regulator.

Specific interventions like those planned will always be needed for as long as midwifery is regulated alongside the much larger nursing profession, despite their being two distinct and separate professions.”

“Sadly, the requirement in law for a Midwifery Committee will go. The RCM does not support this move neither did the overwhelming majority of  midwives  who responded to the DH consultation on the move, but the strength of our collective efforts have compelled the NMC to take steps to strengthen the voice of midwives within the NMC. It was acknowledged that they need to mainstream midwifery matters at Council. 

A reconstituted Midwifery Panel will have a remit to provide “strategic input into policy or regulatory proposals affecting midwifery matters”. The NMC is now committed to promote the Panel too, to raise recognition of it and its work.”

“In addition to this the NMC has stated in clear terms that they remain obligated in law to consult midwives on matters that affect the profession. That legal requirement will not be affected by the planned changes. There will also be more midwives employed in key posts in the NMC itself which the RCM welcomes. There will also be twice yearly listening events where all midwifery views can be aired from across the UK.

The regulator is  also committed to creating midwifery-specific expert groups when it reviews areas such as pre-registration education standards; the distinct needs of midwifery will not therefore be assumed to be the same as nursing. In terms of their communications, the NMC has developed a broad plan that will ensure that midwives and midwifery form a distinct part of what the regulator does and the RCM is fully supportive of this.”


*Related Press Releases*

RCM comments on changes to nursing and midwifery council governing legislation

To contact the RCM Press Office call 020 7312 3456 or email [email protected]. For more information visit the RCM website at https://www.rcm.org.uk/rcm-awards-2016.


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/.