As leaders of the professional bodies for midwives and obstetricians, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) and Royal College of Midwives (RCM) welcome this refreshed Maternity Safety Strategy and the targets and commitments it contains.
The RCOG and RCM are committed to speaking with one, united voice on maternity safety and ensuring every woman has a good birth, with the best possible experience and outcomes for her and her baby; and to providing a shared vision of a modern maternity team whose common purpose is supporting best practice, respectful relationships, strong leadership and putting women at the centre of care.
Commenting on the strategy, Professor Lesley Regan, President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said:
“We are delighted that the Government has agreed to expand the RCOG’s Each Baby Counts programme, which has been hugely successful in securing the trust of both the midwifery and obstetric communities, with 100% of Trusts involved in providing maternity services engaging in this important work. The RCOG in partnership with the RCM believes that we can build on this buy-in from frontline clinical staff by providing them with the support they need to translate lessons learned into improvements in everyday care.
“We are committed to sharing the expertise we have gained from Each Baby Counts, and our understanding of the complex interplay of factors that lead to stillbirths, neonatal deaths and brain damage during term labour, to work with partners such as NHS Improvement to expand the work and reach of the Maternal and Neonatal Safety Collaborative and the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch as they undertake their investigations,.
“Expansion of the national strategy to include a focus on preterm birth and brain injury will likewise help provide a more complete picture of maternity safety, strengthening our evidence base to help us deliver ever more effective care.”
Gill Walton, Chief Executive Officer and General Secretary at the Royal College of Midwives, said: “Midwives are in a unique position to help achieve this, as they are the one healthcare professional whom all women will see during their pregnancy and birth, and therefore have a clear role in ensuring care is coordinated, safe and, most importantly, personal.
“Much has been done already through an array of initiatives to improve the safety of maternity care, and this revised strategy will give everyone involved in maternity care the opportunity to reflect on past successes and focus on key areas where more still needs to be done.”
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About the RCOG
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists is a medical charity that champions the provision of high quality women’s healthcare in the UK and beyond. It is dedicated to encouraging the study and advancing the science and practice of obstetrics and gynaecology. It does this through postgraduate medical education and training and the publication of clinical guidelines and reports on aspects of the specialty and service provision. https://www.rcog.org.uk/
About the RCM
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/.