Friday, July 30, 2010

Midwifery Council Forum Dunedin

Having just completed the first audit of my practice by Midwifery Council I have decided there is some value in continuing to reflect in my blog, making it easier to pull some reflection together for standards review and audit. I will not reflect in my blog about actual midwifery practice and will save that for a closed activity as I am acutely aware of the issues of confidentiality. If a woman particularly told me she was happy for me to write in my blog I would do so and would also make it clear that I had permission to post on my blog from the woman and her family.

Image from Luxmart's photos on

The purpose of this post is to reflect on the Midwifery Council forum in Dunedin, which I attended today.

It was great to get together with many friends and colleagues, some of whom I had not seen for a long time. It was also nice to meet midwives I had not met before, for example Andrea Vincent, who is a new member of midwifery council. I was sad to learn that Sue Bree's term of office on midwifery council has ended. Sue is a wonderful and inspiring woman and I have enormous admiration for her.

It was also good to meet up with Ruth Martis, my colleague from Christchurch Polytechnic and arrange to meet up with her in October for a day brainstorming the Midwifery Practice Skills course for 2011.

During the forum we had a brainstorming session establishing what midwives wanted for the next three year cycle of Technical Skills workshops. Everyone was adamant the day on complex skills should remain. There were quite few other topics that the room came up with for the other Technical Skills workshop day. Amongst the topics discussed were Pharmacology and Prescribing and Newborn assessment. Courses on these topics are available as part of the overseas midwives competency programme and are available too for New Zealand midwives who wish to do them. Antenatal screening was another topic, there is a course available through the National Screening unit for midwives to complete at no cost. Other topics discussed were postdates care, keeping birth normal, postnatal care, preventing burnout and complex care. This was a useful session and it will be for Midwifery Council to decide what the components of the next technical skills workshop will be.If you are a midwife do you have any ideas about topics that should be in the Technical skills workshops of available as continuing education for midwives. The advantage of having a topic in the technical skills workshops is that all midwives must do it, however if it is just available as a course only those who choose to will do it.

In the forum we looked at the proposed new code of conduct for midwives and also the new cultural competence guidelines for midwives. We were able to feedback some thoughts on these proposed requirements for midwifery practice. These will provide good guidance to midwives but we need to be careful what we regulate. For example there is a clause in the proposed code of conduct which states that midwives should not have an emotional or sexual relationship with clients. Many at the forum saw this as a problem as many midwives provide care to family members and also there is an emotional connection with families when you have been the midwife with that family for several births. What do you think? Should midwives be able to care for family members, or should they only be able to be a support person in this situation?

Council also explained there move into and electronic format for the midwifery recertification and payment and issuing practicing certificates.

At the end we had an open session where issues such as the timing of midwifery standards review were discussed, some were interested in moving this to a three yearly component but the consensus and midwifery council position was to leave this as a biennial requirement. Do you think that biennial standards review is a good time spacing or should it be annual or three yearly?

It was quite a long day and I picked up some fried chicken on the way home on request of my husband. Not my favourite meal but saves coming home to cook.


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safemeds said...

The best thing about that kind of event. You can see if how everybody are doing. If something has changed in all that time that you could see them.

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