Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust (MTW) is working with the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) to improve the support available for midwives and maternity colleagues.
MTW Maternity Services have signed-up to the RCM’s Caring for You Charter, which aims to improve the health, safety and wellbeing of maternity staff.
Almost half of all trusts in the UK have signed-up, including eight trusts from across the south east. Launched in June last year the campaign is aiming to get NHS organisations across the UK to sign up to the Caring for You Charter.
Jenny Cleary, Head of Midwifery, Gynaecology and Sexual Health, MTW, says:
“Our maternity teams do a magnificent job delivering 6,000 babies each year. We are committed to offering the right support for our staff and working with the RCM on this campaign will strengthen our resolve to make staff feel valued and looked after in the workplace.”
Claire Livingstone, the Royal College of Midwives Regional Officer, said: “I am delighted that MTW has signed the Charter. They have a committed team of midwives and maternity support workers, led by an enthusiastic head of midwifery whom is committed to the welfare of her staff. This is a very positive move and I welcome their commitment to staff and the people they care for.”
West Kent maternity services are now rated the best in the country following a review of nearly 200 NHS maternity services nation-wide. The majority of maternity services in the West Kent area are delivered by Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust and include two stand-alone birth centres at Maidstone and Crowborough Hospitals.
When signing the charter, organisations are committing to five key principles:
• Work in partnership with the RCM Health and Safety Representative to develop and implement an action plan about health, safety and wellbeing issues that are important to the maternity workforce and maternity service users.
• Ensure that midwives and maternity support workers have access to a variety of shift patterns and flexible working and promote a positive workplace culture around working time including taking breaks.
• Foster a positive working environment for all by signing up to the RCM/RCOG statement of commitment calling for zero tolerance policy on undermining and bullying behaviours.
• Enable midwives and maternity support workers to access occupational health and other organisational policies for their mental and physical health, safety and wellbeing.
• Nurture a compassionate and supportive workplace that cares for midwives and 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
Notes to editors
Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust is a large acute hospital Trust in the south east of England. The Trust was legally established on 14 February 2000 and provides a full range of general hospital services, and some areas of specialist complex care to around 560,000 people living in the south of West Kent and the north of East Sussex.
About the RCM
The RCM is the only trade union and professional association dedicated to serving midwifery and the whole midwifery team. It provides workplace advice and support, professional and clinical guidance and information, and learning opportunities with a broad range of events, conferences and online resources. For more information visit the RCM website at www.rcm.org.uk.