The Royal College of Midwives’ (RCM) new CEO has announced her top priorities during the opening address at the RCM Annual Conference 2017 in Manchester.
RCM CEO, Gill Walton, said in her opening address to delegates “the relationships we form in the workplace are the key to safety in our maternity services.”
She highlighted that safety, partnership and leadership were her top three priorities.
“We must strengthen partnerships with other health professionals so that we can debate and discuss the future of safe maternity care, so that together we can give clear information to women and families.
CEO Gill Walton also raised the issue of staff relationships and shortages across the country: “I have to mention midwifery and obstetric staffing issues. There are huge gaps in some services which contribute to real concerns. When things go wrong, often the underpinning issue is that of relationships.
“Healthy relationships at all levels – clinical, system, regional, national, across professions – need to be supported if we are to develop the ambition of multi-disciplinary working which underpins safe care. Where barriers exist we need to recognise that these are within professions as much as they are between professions.”
She also pledged that she will work towards every NHS employer having a Director of Midwifery “who is responsible and accountable for the care women receive and who will act as the women’s advocate” in five years’ time.
Pay was also mentioned in the opening with CEO Gill Walton adding: “The RCM along with our colleagues in other trade unions across the public sector have campaigned hard to get the Government to scrap its divisive and counter-productive pay gap. I’m glad to report that it appears as if our efforts have paid off. But that is not enough; the Government must go further.”
The RCM Annual Conference 2017 is a two-day event being attended by midwives, maternity support workers and students in Manchester Centre, from Tuesday 31 October 2017 – November 1 2017.
More information about the RCM Annual Conference can be found here.
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