The Department of Health has launched a consultation over the proposed changes to current Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) legislation.
Proposed changes to the Nursing and Midwifery Council legislation looks to remove the Midwifery section of the Nursing & Midwifery Order 2001, which is legislation for The Midwifery Committee, Rules as to midwifery practice and the Local Supervision of Midwives.
The NMC confirmed proposals include; removing statutory midwifery supervision provisions, removing statutory Midwifery Committee from the NMC’s governance structures and improvements to the NMC’s fitness to practice processes.
Chief Executive of the Royal College of Midwives (RCM), Cathy Warwick said: “The NMC has provided the RCM with assurance that the proposed changes do not affect: the registration of midwives; direct entry to the register as a midwife; the protected title of a midwife; the protected function of attendance on a woman in childbirth (this applies to labour only) or separate competencies and pre-registration education standards for midwives.”
The Department of Health has said the changes aim to “modernise midwifery regulation and improve the effectiveness and efficiency of fitness to practice processes”.
The consultation has been brought forward in accordance with Section 60 of the Health Act 1999.
Section 60 permits regulations of health care professionals to be modified by means of an Order in Council.
“On the introduction of a system of non-statutory supportive supervision and leadership in midwifery the RCM is supportive of this work, led by the Department of Health and the four Chief Nursing Officers in the UK, although we remain concerned about the system being able to sustain a non-statutory framework of supervision for midwives in the long term,” Cathy Warwick added.
The RCM is encouraging midwives to respond to the consultation that can be found on the UK Government website.
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