Midwives at Altnagelvin are working through breaks and over and above their scheduled hours in order to keep women safe and deliver Derry’s next generation, according to Western Trust midwifery boss Maureen Miller.
Ms Miller said midwives and maternity support wokers are working harder than ever to provide safe care for women as the Western Trust backed a Royal College of Midwives (RCM) campaign to improve support available for the frontline healthcare workers locally.
The RCM drive is aimed at ensuring midwives have access to a variety of shift patterns and flexible working, that they are never subjected to bullying behaviour, and that they are guaranteed a compassionate and supportive workplace.
Ms Miller, who is the Acting Head of Midwifery and Gynae Services, said: “The ‘Caring for You Campaign’ aims to improve midwives and maternity support workers’ health, safety and wellbeing at work, so that they are able to provide high quality maternity care for women and their families.
“Our birth rate has steadily increased over the past few years and our maternity unit is now coping with more complex midwifery cases than ever before.
“Midwives and maternity support workers are now working harder to deliver high standard of care. The service is now reliant on midwives and maternity support workers, working through their breaks and well beyond their contracted hours to provide safe care for women.
“I have signed and am committed to the ‘Caring for You’ Charter. I feel that there has always been a high level of camaraderie in our maternity units at Altnagelvin Hospital and South West Acute Hospital and I am very proud of this.”
RCM Director for Northern Ireland, Breedagh Hughes said: “I am delighted that the Western Trust has signed the Charter. They have a committed team of midwives and maternity support workers, led by an enthusiastic interim head of midwifery committed to the welfare of her staff.
“This is a very positive move and I welcome the board’s commitment to staff and the people they care for.”
Ms Miller concluded: “The Western Trust is delighted to be working in partnership with the RCM to develop an action plan to ensure a positive work place to nurture a compassionate and supportive environment that cares for midwives, maternity support workers so that they can care for women and their families.”
For more information on the Caring for You campaign visit: https://www.rcm.org.uk/caring-for-you-campaign