'RCM launches i-learn resource to support members in developing their understanding of continuity of carer'

on 18 October 2018 Midwifery Continuity of Carer - MCOC MSWs - Maternity Support Workers Midwives Maternity Services RCM i-Learn

Today the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) have relaunched an i-learn module on continuity of carer. The relaunched module now includes a new animation which helps to explain some approaches to on calls in a continuity team.

The online learning resource was commissioned by NHS England and aims to help midwives and maternity support workers (MSWs) develop a better understanding about continuity of carer in midwifery and the significant benefits this has for women and their babies receiving midwifery care.

The Better Births National Maternity Review for England and The Best Start review in Scotland recommend that continuity of carer be used as the central model of care in both countries.

To support RCM members to better understand the importance of this model of care the RCM saw an urgent need to develop a learning resource that would answer a host of important questions.

Questions explored in the RCM’s new i-learn module of midwifery continuity of carer include; 

  • What is the evidence that continuity improves outcomes?
  • What is the proposed model of care?
  • What would the working week of a continuity midwife look like?
  • What do we need to have in place to make continuity work for midwives and women?

Today the RCM also hosted a webinar with the authors of the module Professor Jacqui Dunkley-Bent Head of Maternity, Children and Young People at NHS England and the module authors RCM’s Dr Mary Ross-Davie Director for Scotland and Lia Brigante, Practice and Standards Advisor to relaunch the module.

In addition to this online learning resource the RCM has for the past year been hosting a series of ‘continuity of carer’ workshops across the UK for its members. 

Earlier this month at the RCM’s Annual Conference in Manchester the RCM launched a game called *Continuity Counts. The game helps teams of midwives spend time exploring what a year might feel like providing continuity of carer, with each midwife holding a caseload of around 35 women.

It aims to help teams understand more about providing continuity across the woman’s journey through pregnancy. It will also encourage discussions about how they might choose to manage their time as a team.

Commenting, Dr Mary Ross Davie, RCM’s Director for Scotland and the RCM’s organisational lead on continuity of carer and the game developer said; “The RCM supports the principal that every woman across the UK should have a high level of midwifery continuity of carer.

“There is no doubt that continuity of carer improves care for women. We also know that it is a way of delivering safe maternity services that women value – improving outcomes and experience. This is why it is at the heart of government policies for maternity services not just in England, but in Scotland too.

“This new resource will support our members in developing their understanding of midwifery continuity of carer and how it can work for midwives as well as the families we care for. I recommend this great resource to our members – it’s practical, informative and engaging.’ 


Professor Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent, Head of Maternity, Children & Young People for NHS England, said:

The RCM’s continuity of carer  i-learn resource will support midwives, maternity support workers and all those working in maternity services to implement this way of working which is associated with improved outcomes and improved maternity experiences for women, babies and their families across the country.”

“Also, all local areas now have guidance that will support the implementation of continuity of carer for mums-to-be in line with ambitious national targets.





Media Release: Advance to continuity of carer - RCM launches continuity of carer board game

Publication: The contribution of continuity of midwifery care to high quality maternity care 


To contact the RCM Media Relations Team call 020 7312 3456 or email [email protected].


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/