Maternity services at the George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust have become the latest to commit to the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) health and wellbeing charter. The charter is part of the RCM’s newest campaign ‘Caring for You’, which aims to improve midwives health, safety and wellbeing at work.
The charter itself includes commitments to make sure that members of staff are taking adequate rest breaks, as well as staying properly hydrated during their shifts. There is also a strong focus on fostering a positive working environment, which includes a zero tolerance approach to undermining and bullying behaviours amongst staff.
The George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust organises an annual ‘Caring for the Carers’ conference, which is open to maternity workers across the country. During the conference, attendees explore the challenges facing maternity workers and seek to find ways to ensure workers are adequately supported.
In addition, a newly formed maternity wellbeing group meet monthly to discuss a wellbeing action plan, and staff at all levels within the department are encouraged to submit suggestions about ways to improve their health and wellbeing. Alongside these formal activities, staff members regularly get together at informal pamper evenings. During these sessions, they can have an aromatherapy hand massage and share ideas on how to support one another. As an extra level of support, maternity staff have access to a psychologist who can help in times of need.
Commenting on the trusts commitment to the charter, RCM’s regional officer for the West Midlands, Julia Ellis, said: “It’s fantastic to see George Eliot positively embrace the RCMs ‘Caring for You’ campaign. They already have a clear action plan in place and have really focused on ensuring maternity staff at the trust have an improved sense of health and wellbeing at work.
“A commitment to improving their maternity staff’s health, safety and wellbeing is also a commitment to women and their babies. We know that better cared for staff can provide the highest quality of care for women and their families.”
Alison Talbot, Head of Midwifery at the George Eliot Hospital, said: “We are delighted to be supporting the RCM’s ‘Caring for You’ campaign and look forward to working in partnership with them. We understand how important it is to have a happy, healthy workforce and our staff have helped us to develop numerous exciting initiatives to improve their health and wellbeing.”
The RCM are asking all NHS organisations to support heads of midwifery in the UK by signing up to the RCM’s Caring for You Charter. By doing this, organisations show their commitment to improving the health, safety and wellbeing of midwives; student midwives and maternity support workers at work, enabling the delivery of better care to women and their families.
For more information on the Caring for You campaignvisit: https://www.rcm.org.uk/caring-for-you-campaign